** TW: Brief mention of self-harm due to depression. Discretion advised**
December 2018: Tyson Fury was laying flat on his back in the Staples Center within the twelfth round of what would’ve been an a comeback for the ages.
Months before this, Fury had reached 400 pounds and was stripped of the unified championships he took from Wlad Klitschko. Klitschko had been the heavyweight king, undefeated for 11 years previously. Then he ran in to a Gypsy King that floated around him and peppered him with jabs that eventually took him out.
After Fury’s win over Klitschko, he fell in to a depression after having achieved his life goal.
One terrifying, high-speed suicide attempt later, Fury was back in the gym. It took incredible dedication but he lost the weight and worked his way to a heavyweight title fight against the hardest puncher in history. Great prize, right?
The heavyweight championship bout in December 2018 was the classic matchup of “Boxer vs. Puncher.”
Fury was the boxer: quick on his feet and impeccable timing on his shots. Deontay Wilder was the puncher with forty wins and thirty-nine knockouts. Wilder’s right hand may be the most dangerous punch in boxing history.
The fight began with Fury popping his jab in Wilder’s face repeatedly, and his timing had seriously troubled Wilder until the ninth round. Wilder caught Fury and put him down with a glancing shot to the side of the head. Unfortunately with Wilder, that’s all it takes.
Wilder landed his right. ONE. Wilder caught him with another shot while he was falling, for good measure. TWO. Fury was unconscious on the canvas. THREE. Wilder started doing a shimmy and winked at his corner. FOUR. Tyson Fury opened his eyes. FIVE. Fury looked at referee Jack Reiss. SIX. He starts to try willing himself back to his feet. SEVEN. He’s on his knees can his legs hold him up, or have they gone? EIGHT. Fury rises too his feet but does not look good. NINE.
Jack Reiss looks at Fury to see if the lights are on and if he can defend himself. Reiss doesn’t say ten. He gives Fury a command to follow to test him. He wipes Fury’s gloves off and let’s him continue. Fury got up. Fury got up.
When the final bell rang two minutes after, the shock that we had heard it at all came seeping in.
How did Fury get up? He was unconscious on the floor a mere 120 seconds ago. The official decision was a draw, but it leads us to February 22nd. Fury and Wilder rematch in Vegas… All because Fury got up.