Wilder (40-0-1) floored Fury (27-0-1) in the ninth and final rounds, yet Fury clearly outboxed Wilder for large portions of their meeting at Staples Center.
Tyson Fury covered himself in glory with a draw against WBC champion Deontay Wilder after three years away from top-level competition battling and overcoming depression, and dedicated his performance to other sufferers.
Judge Alejandro Rochin turned in an eyebrow-raising scorecard of 115-111 for Wilder, Robert Tapper had it 114-112 for Fury, and Phil Edwards scored it 113-113 - even. FightNights.com concurred with Tapper, giving Fury a 114-112 score. "I thought I won the fight.", Fury said at the post-fight press conference.
Neither man was overly upset by the verdict after a compelling bout in front of a frenzied Hollywood crowd. The 6-foot-9 Fury spent almost every moment of the fight nimbly avoiding Wilder's punches in a masterful display - except for the two moments when the 6-foot-7 Wilder viciously knocked him to the canvas.
"We're both warriors, but with those two drops, I think I won the fight", Wilder said.
With many ex-professionals, pundits and fans having scored the fight as a points victory for the Gypsy King, many where shocked when the official decision of a draw was delivered by the ring announcer at the end of the fight.
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Trainer Dave Coldwell tweeted: "I gave Wilder two 10-8s and one other round".
The WBC champion was, as expected, doing a lot of the coming forward but was being made to miss over and over again by Fury. "I came out slow".
Tyson Fury says a "holy hand" brought him back from the 12th round knockdown.
"And he didn't want it for a reason, because Deontay Wilder is the most fearsome puncher in boxing history, in heavyweight division history, and I saw that and I felt it". I wasn't hurt. I did not sit still, I was too hesitant, I started overthrowing the right hand.
"Fury's movement with upper body and lower body was tremendous". He was already heading to the canvas from Wilder's powerful right hand, but on the way down, Wilder connected with an even more vicious left hook. Although opinion if actually split on social media, Ice Cube feels that Deontay Wilder was robbed on the night - that he wouldn't be lining for a rematch to the "boring" first order of business.
Tyson Fury (53.1 thrown per round) is busier than Wilder, but not almost as accurate.