Wilder sees missed opportunity in first viewing of Fury draw
NEW YORK (AP) — Deontay Wilder fired his right hand out from his body, demonstrating the way he should have punched Tyson Fury.
He was frustrated with the referee. Disappointed in Floyd Mayweather Jr. Angry with Showtime’s scorer.
Mostly, Wilder was mad at himself.
Five days later, the WBC heavyweight champion was still bothered by the way he fought in his draw with Fury on Saturday night in Los Angeles.
“Fury was everything I expected him to be. It’s not what Fury did, it’s what I didn’t do,” Wilder said Thursday. “You seen the best of Fury, you didn’t see the best of me.
“I wanted to end the show with a devastating knockout and I got too excited.”
Wilder (40-0-1) watched the full fight for the first time during a lunch that was used to provide footage for an all-access look at the fight that will run Saturday after Showtime airs the replay. He was still amazed that Fury got up from a powerful combination that sent him flat on his back in the 12th round, but believed Fury (27-0-1) benefited from a break from referee Jack Reiss.
“Look at him! Niiiiine,” Wilder said, imitating what he felt was a dramatically long count from Reiss to allow Fury to get up and finish the fight.
Still, Wilder believed the knockdown, his second of the fight, had allowed him to clinch the victory. He said he didn’t regret not trying harder to finish Fury afterward, because he thought the win was secured.
“If it was close, that knockdown, I feel like it put me on top,” Wilder said.
Only one of the judges agreed, with one scoring the bout for Fury and another having it 113-113. That was much closer than Showtime scorer Steve Farhood, who gave only one of the first eight rounds to Wilder on his card that fans watching the fight could see after each round.
“Someone has got to explain to me why this is supposedly a Tyson Fury round,” promoter Lou DiBella said after watching the end of one of those early rounds.
Mayweather was even harsher to the champion, giving him none of the first five rounds when he was interviewed in the arena between rounds. Wilder said he had no relationship with Mayweather but implied the retired former champion was insecure any time there was too much attention on another American fighter.
Wilder agreed it was a close, tough fight to score, but only because he allowed it to be. Headlining a pay-per-view for the first time on perhaps the biggest night in years for American heavyweight boxing, Wilder wanted to deliver something spectacular and the moment got to him.
“I abandoned the whole game plan,” Wilder said. “That was a mistake on my behalf. Like I said, I just wanted to get in there and just knock him out. I mean I wanted to end the show in a devastating way. That was the whole thing going through my mind. I couldn’t clear it out of my mind for some reason. I couldn’t.
“The atmosphere was so heavy and I finally had the attention that I deserved and there was only one thing on my mind, was to knock him out. But that’s what I do anyway. It was crazy. Every time I was going back to the corner I was telling myself just calm down, but I couldn’t get out of that element.”
He became animated watching the replay when he saw times a straight punch would have caught Fury, who kept trying to duck down low, but instead rushed an over-the-top shot that missed.
“See that ... right there! All I had to do was straight ‘pop!’” Wilder said. “He’s right here and I’m still overthrowing it while he’s at a pause right here, bending over.”
But the mistakes could provide a learning experience for a rematch Wilder insists will happen. He said he will try to gain a significant amount of weight, with a goal of 245 pounds after he came in at 209 on Saturday. He’s open to fighting Fury anywhere, even in Britain, though his preferences would be Las Vegas or Barclays Center in New York.
Wilder couldn’t take Fury out the first time, but figures he at least did enough damage to soften him up for the second.
“I don’t think he’s going to be the same, especially going into a rematch and getting hit like that,” Wilder said. “I know my power and I know what I can do.”