It was a truly astonishing moment during a great fight, and, aside from the controversy the drawn verdict has generated, it was Tyson Fury’s heroic, almost unbelievable rise from the canvas in the 12th and final round that has been the talking point of the Fury-Deontay Wilder fight. Even hardened experts were stunned at the way Fury, sledge-hammered to the mat by not one but two massive punches to the head – a bomb of a right swiftly followed by a searing left – got back up.
Looking for all the world as though he was out, out, out, this incredible fighter instead scraped himself off the canvas – he says with the aiding hand of Jesus – and carried on fighting. Wilder was almost heading to ringside to conduct his post-fight interviews, in which he would have spoken about how he knew all along his awesome punching power would not let him down, that he knew he would get the KO sooner or later. He almost did, but can you imagine how hard it must have been for Wilder to instead see Fury get back up and then have to fight him for another two-minutes or so!
Wilder had relaxed, like a marathon runner does when he or she crosses the line after completing that gruelling road-race. Imagine how this runner would feel if, having felt the tape across their chest, he or she then had to run another half-mile or so! This is what Wilder had to do, and that he managed to do so when he was as tired as Fury had been hurt perhaps deserves its own share of praise.
But Fury is the man everyone in boxing is talking about right now, his final-round heroics in particular. Muhammad Ali was cracked by a savage Joe Frazier hook in the 15th and final round of his epic “Fight Of The Century,” yet Ali managed to get up, and fast, and for that, The Greatest was duly accoladed. George Foreman rose from two brutal knockdowns at the hands of Ron Lyle in the heavyweight slugfest to end all heavyweight slugfests, and it was the fact that he was able to so that convinced “Big George” he could rise to the top of the sport again after being humbled by Ali (it just took him 18 years to do so!)
But for quite a few people, what Fury did on Saturday night in L.A tops even those fistic near-miracles.
George was kind enough to share his thoughts on what Fury did in that closing round with this writer:
“I was so moved by this,” Foreman said. “He had nothing more to prove, but he got back on his two feet and fought. Man, I’m proud.”
So too are Fury’s fans, his family and all members of his team. Fury proved again on Saturday that whatever you think of him, he really is a quite unique fighting man. What more thrills and spills might “The Gypsy King” give his sport before he’s finished gloving up?