I’m sure you’re getting fed up with the sports pages since Saturday night. Tyson Fury fans have been saying that the Gypsy King has been “robbed” in America and that boxing in the United States is so “corrupt”. And so on and so forth.
The reason behind the uproar is Fury’s Saturday fight against Deontay Wilder at the Staples Center in Los Angeles which ended up in a split draw after 12 interesting and entertaining rounds. Fury’s supporters claim that their fighter “clearly” outboxed Wilder for 12 rounds and that he was robbed of a victory by an opponent who did nothing except knock Fury down twice in the fight.
Fury’s fans claim that their fighter outboxed Wilder for at least 10 rounds with some even saying that Fury outboxed Wilder in the 9th and 12th, the two rounds where the Gypsy King was put on his buttocks by the Bronze Bomber. Really? Outbox is a subjective word in boxing. It may refer to different things such as ring generalship, aggression, point fighting and damage.
Fight Closer Than You Thought
If you take a look at the punch stats for the fight, Tyson Fury landed more total punches 84-71 but Deontay Wilder threw more punches 430-327. Looking at the more detailed breakdown of those numbers from Compubox, you’ll notice that the fight was a lot closer than what we first thought.
Compubox numbers reveal that there were only four rounds which were decisively won, that is if we talk about point fighting or punch stats. Tyson Fury had an 11-4 total punches landed advantage in Round 3 and he also had a 10-1 total punches landed edge in Round 10. On the other hand, Deontay Wilder had a big Round 9, landing 13 total punches as compared to Fury’s 7. Wilder also had an 11-5 advantage in total punches landed in the 12th and final round.
As for the rest of the 8 rounds, Fury outpointed Wilder in seven of them but did so by only a margin of two or fewer punches in each of those seven rounds. Meanwhile, Deontay Wilder threw more punches in all but one round in the fight. Fury was only more productive than Wilder in Round 10, where he threw 39 punches to Wilder/s 31.
If you watched the fight listening to those British commentators, you would have think that Tyson Fury was dominating Deontay Wilder. Watch the fight again, this time without volume, you’ll probably realize that while Tyson Fury was landing more punches than Deontay Wilder, he wasn’t landing as much as you would have thought based on the commentators.
Don’t Blame The Judges
If you ask me now, I can probably make a case for Fury not only because of the perception that he boxed better but because of the Compubox numbers I saw. Fury did outpoint Wilder for 12 rounds, out landed him in 9 out of the 12 rounds and was the more accurate puncher between the two. But that’s because I read boxingscene.com a while ago. The judges didn’t have that luxury. They judged the fight as it happened and as we know now, it was a close fight.
Let’s take a look at the Judges’ official scorecards to explain further:
Notice that there are only 6 rounds where the judges were unanimous in scoring the rounds. The Judges had rounds 5,10,11 as unanimous for Tyson Fury. They scored rounds 1, 9 and 12 unanimously for Deontay Wilder. While Fury outpointed Wilder in those three rounds, he never hurt Wilder in any of those rounds. On the other hand, Wilder put Fury on his arse in two out of the three unanimous rounds he won.
In the six other rounds, the judges were split 2-1 as to who won the round. If you take a look at Compubox’s punch stats summary, you will find your answer. Fury fans have criticized Judge Alejandro Rochin for scoring rounds 1-4 for Deontay Wilder but I don’t blame him at all. While Tyson Fury outlanded Deontay Wilder in each out of those four rounds, he did so by margins of 1,2,7 and 2 punches. This meant that of those four rounds, Fury had the decisive edge in punch stats only in Round 3. With Deontay Wilder throwing 6,8 and 5 more punches in rounds 1,2 and 4 respectively, it’s easy for a judge’s perspective to sway because of Wilder’s perceived aggression. Again, those judges didn’t have the luxury of Compubox stats when they scored the fight.
The other 3 rounds, Rounds 6,7 and 8 were just as close. Fury outlanded Wilder by 2 punches in round 6 while Wilder outlanded Fury by 2 punches in round 7 and Fury landed one punch more in Round 8. Rounds 6 and 8 went to Fury in two judges’ scorecards while two of three judges scored it for Wilder. Again, the margin of difference in punches landed in those three rounds was minimal. In fact, Fury only outlanded Wilder by a total of one punch in those three rounds. On the other hand, it was Deontay Wilder who threw more punches in those rounds, letting his hands go 1,14 and 15 more times in Rounds 6,7 and 8, respectively. Again, with Wilder throwing more punches, especially in Rounds 7 and 8, judges weren’t unanimous in scoring those rounds.
Challenger Must Take The Belt From The Champion
One unwritten rule in scoring boxing fights is that a challenger must take the belt from the champion. Literally, it means that the challenger must win the fight decisively to take the victory and unless the win is obvious, the champion almost always gets to keep his title. In this case, it was clear that Tyson Fury did not take the belt from the champion.
For sure, Fury made Wilder miss more than the usual and his defense was impressive even if that meant holding on when Wilder started to unload. But wasn’t Tyson Fury supposed to do that anyway because Wilder arguably has poor technique and is a far inferior technical boxer from Fury? Despite that, Fury only outlanded him by 13 punches in 36 minutes of action. Despite that, Fury landed only 84 total punches in 12 rounds.
On the other hand, Deontay Wilder’s only chance of winning that fight, now let’s be honest, was by knockout. He didn’t knock Fury out, although it appeared he did in the 12th round but that’s another story. The point is that Wilder did not get the stoppage he wanted so he did not win the fight. However, he put Fury down on the canvass two times and that is called damage in the sport of boxing. Now the question is, who fought better.
Tyson Fury boxed as expected. I can’t say he exposed Wilder because we all know The Bronze Bomber is a poor boxer. But as to ring generalship, defense and point fighting, you have to give it to him. However, Deontay Wilder was way more aggressive, he did more damage and was the champion. Clearly Tyson Fury didn’t take the title away from Deontay Wilder. He merely outpointed him and looked more sexy inside the ring. Wilder on the other hand was the aggressor throughout the fight and scored two knockdowns. He was never hurt in the bout. As champion and in a fight that close, he should have been awarded the victory.