Scorecards show Deontay Wilder was beating Tyson Fury at halfway stage of epic fight
Tyson Fury may have defeated Deontay Wilder to retain his WBC heavyweight title in Las Vegas - but the Gypsy King was made to work hard as it was anything but an easy night for him.
After flooring Wilder in the third round, Fury himself was twice knocked to the canvas by the Bronze Bomber in the fourth and was ultimately saved by the bell as his opponent moved in for the kill.
Fury then rallied and was firmly in the ascendancy by the time he knocked down Wilder again in the 11th, at which point veteran referee Russell Moura halted proceedings without even giving the American the count.
The scorecards from ringside however, show the extent to which Fury, 33, was in trouble at the 12-round fight's halfway point, as the Daily Star reports.
Judges Dave Moretti, Tim Cheatham and Steve Weisfeld all had Wilder ahead on their cards - mainly due to the American taking that dramatic fourth round 10-7.
Wilder, 35, was also awarded the verdict in the first, second and fifth rounds by members of the judging trio as well.
However, once the battle went past the halfway mark the three were unanimous in agreeing Fury was the dominant force.
With the exception of the ninth round, which Cheatham awarded to Wilder, the challenger was not credited with a single round from the sixth onwards.
Yet, he still played his part in an all-time classic heavyweight bout, which rounded off an enthralling trilogy between the pair.
Fury convincingly won the pair's previous meeting in February 2020 with a seventh-round technical knockout, but controversy had reigned after their first clash 14 months earlier which ended in a draw.
On that night, Mexican judge Alejandro Rochin dubiously scored the fight 115–111 for Wilder, Canadian judge Robert Tapper had it 114–112 for Fury and British judge Phil Edwards scored it a 113–113 draw.
There was no doubting the victor this time around though, with Fury afterwards claiming he was never hurt, despite his early troubles.
"I wasn't hurt," he told BT Sport.
"You get hit, you wake up on the floor. I got up and was very conscious the whole time. I was one punch away from knocking him out in the whole fight.'
"I didn't have my best performance but I pulled it out of the bag when it needed to be done."
Fury's attempt to be respectful to his opponent afterwards was rejected though, with Wilder refusing to indulge in an embrace with his bitter rival.
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