Having duly paid my £19.99 to BT Box Office in order to watch the Wilder v Fury match, for which the first bell sounded at approximately 4.45am UK time in Los Angeles, I am now sitting in my home drawing room frustrated and exasperated – as so often one is with professional boxing – because the result was a travesty.
On the evidence of this bout Wilder is a very limited fighter with nothing to offer but dynamite in his hands and hope.
If he had reproduced this performance in anywhere but America – even in a “£250, winner takes all” contest in a local town hall in front of no more than 60 people – he would have been dismissed as a mediocre journeyman definitely not worth booking again.
Quite how the British judge Phil Edwards can have scored this bout as a draw, I have literally no idea.
On the evidence of my eyes – and indeed if reports from the TV coverage are to be believed – Fury gave Wilder a boxing lesson and won by a minimum four clear rounds even allowing for the fact he was knocked down twice including in the final round (which justifies awarding a 10-8 round score).
But then again, how judge Robert Tapper of Canada could have scored it only 114-112 to Fury – still less Alejandro Rochin of Mexico make it 115-111 in favour of Wilder – defies all sense of belief, fairness and justice.
Let us be brutal: money had something – and probably everything – to do with it.
The world of professional boxing is first and foremost about money and clearly too many people had too much ‘invested’ in Wilder to let the ‘golden goose’ go if they could possibly avoid it. Forget the paying public, forget nicety, forget decency – these things ultimately count for diddly-squat. The public quickly forget that they’ve paid good money for a rip-off – not least because now – if it ever happens – the theory goes that they’ll pay even more to see the rematch.
Suspected ‘home town decisions’ blight every sport but they have been endemic in boxing throughout history (which is far too long).