Tyson Fury chose not to protest the judges' controversial decision to score his WBC heavyweight title fight with Deontay Wilder on Saturday as a draw because he believed fans could have "smashed" the arena.
Fury and Wilder went the distance at Staples Center in Los Angeles, but despite being knocked down twice, few could believe Fury was not awarded the win after an impressive performance.
Alejandro Rochin gave it to Wilder 115-111, while Robert Tapper felt Fury had won 114-112. Phil Edwards couldn't separate the pair and gave a score of 113-113.
In his post-fight press conference, Fury expressed his belief that he should have won but chose not to protest the decision when it was announced:
After being asked whether he was happy with the draw, his trainer, Ben Davison, interjected and said Fury "could have caused a riot if he kicked off about that scorecard."
Fury said he had told his family to "keep quiet" because he believed fans there to support him "probably would have smashed this arena up if I'd have instigated it. I mean to the floor."
He added: "I just want to be an ambassador for my country and my people."
Per Jack Wilson of the Express, the 30-year-old concluded: "I'm not going to sit here all night and claim robbery. I thought I won the fight. I'll leave the audience to decide what they thought."
According to CompuBox, Fury connected with 84 of his punches and landed more in nine of the 12 rounds. Wilder landed 71 in total, as the Gypsy King cleverly evaded him time and again.
"It felt like he had baby oil on him," said Wilder, per the Guardian's Bryan Armen Graham. "He was slippery."
The American landed the biggest hit of the night in the final round, though. Having sent Fury to the canvas in the ninth, he looked to have salvaged a win when he did so again in Round 12, only for Fury to get back up again.
Former three-weight world champion Terence Crawford was impressed:
Discussing that dramatic moment, Fury said: "I think I had the holy hands upon me tonight, and I was brought back. He rose me to my feet on the brink of defeat. They're the lyrics I stole from a tune. I can't tell you because I don't know. I don't know what happened."
Neither did Wilder, who felt his knockdowns should have given him the victory.
Per The Independent's Luke Brown, in his presser, he said:
"What an amazing fight, but I have a lot of questions. I don't know how he got up. And I don't know why they didn't start the count earlier. But we don't make no excuses. I was overthrowing my right hand because I really wanted to get him out of there, and maybe my emotions got the better of me."
For Fury, the fight marked an incredible comeback:
Boxing on BT Sport 🥊 @BTSportBoxing
18 months ago @tyson_fury weighed over 400lbs, was suspended from boxing and suffering from mental health issues. Today he's just gone 12 round rounds with the Deontay Wilder, looking back to his best. This is one of the greatest comebacks in boxing history 🙌 https://t.co/2mDzaRNsHn
Per Graham, the Englishman said:
"It's not been any secret what I've been doing out of the ring. I've been living like a rock star. That ain't a great thing, by the way, because I've had a very low time doing it. I've fought back from suicide and mental health [issues] and depression and anxiety. And I wanted more than anything tonight to show the world that it can be done. Anything is possible with the right mindset."
Fury's presser then ended in remarkable fashion:
Both fighters said they would be open to a rematch, with Wilder stating his preference to do it on American soil again, while Fury's promoter Frank Warren expressed his hope that the second bout would take place in London.
Wherever a rematch takes place, it seems a given it will happen after the pair put on such a show, especially with many disputing the result.
While Fury may not have picked up the win it was widely felt he deserved, he nevertheless completed his stunning comeback—he once again feels like the man to beat in the heavyweight division.