Wilder downed Fury in the ninth round of their heavyweight contest at the Staples Center in the early hours of Sunday morning.
» Top New Products
Loading the page...
And the American put Fury to the canvas in the 12th too – before Fury heroically got back to his feet to soldier on.
To that point, Fury had appeared to dominate but Wilder’s dramatic late surge looked to have stolen it.
Except Fury had other ideas. The man who says he has made the ‘greatest comeback ever’ in even making it to the ring refused to throw in the towel as he battled it through to the bell.
Once the 12th was over, Fury stomed round the ring in celebration in a clear sign he felt he had won. Wilder, meanwhile, barely let out a whimper.
Fury kissed his opponent and told him he ‘loved him’ in emotional scenes between two men who have all the respect in the world for one another.
There were moments of confusion with scorecards being handed back and forth with the verdict clearly a close one.
It was then it was announced as a draw, with the first judge giving it 115-111 to Wilder, the second one as 114-112 to Fury and the third judge Phil Edwards of England calling it 113-113.
It means the two are now set for a dramatic rematch – possibly in America – for what many are dubbing ‘the greatest fight ever’.
Wilder, however, was adamant he won the fight: “With the two knockdowns I definitely won. I don’t think he had control.
“I wasn’t hurt. I did not sit still, I was too hesitant, I started overthrowing the right hand. I was forcing my punches too much.
“I don’t know if it (a rematch) will be my next fight but would love it to be. We need to do it again.”
While Fury vowed to fight Wilder again: “We’re on away soil, I got knocked down but I still believe I won the fight. I’m showing total professionalism. Thank you for the opportunity D, God bless you.
“The Gypsy King has returned. God bless America. I’m a professional athlete who loves to fight. He is a fearsome fighter. The world knows the truth. Thank you to every fan around the world.
“I’m a fighting man and Jesus has his control over me so I was never going to get knocked out. I came here tonight and fought my heart out. That is the second best heavyweight apart from me. We are both going home to our family safe.
“I’ve been away from my family for 10 weeks and just want to spend some time with them over Christmas.”
On a rematch, Fury said: “One hundred per cent we will do the rematch. We’re the best two heavyweights in the planet. There is another heavyweight who is a chicken. (Anthony) Joshua where are you?”
But Fury’s trainer Ben Davison was left furious at the decision and fumed: “They have just taken away the biggest comeback in sports history. You have to be a sick, sick man to do that.
“I told Tyson before the fight he would beat him with his left hand. We didn’t come here for money to get through the fight we came here to win and I’m sick and gutted. Deontay is a very dangerous opponent after the 12 months we have had we need a break.”
Promoter Frank Warren was adamant that Fury won it by three rounds – even if he was surprised Fury returned to his feet after the 12th-round trip to the canvas.
“I thought he (Fury) had won it by three rounds,” Warren told BT Sport.
“When you think of what he has come from to be here. It is the art of hitting and not getting hit. I didn’t think he was going to get up (in the 12th) but at the end of the round he was pushing him back.
“It is a draw but everyone knows he won it and we will want to do a rematch. How could a fight like this not be a rematch? It is unfinished business. He won that. He won that fight and everyone knows it.
“In Britain that is an 80,000 job. Vegas will be drooling for this. When was the last time you saw a great fight in USA. Tyson and Deontay have livened up this decision. The best fought the best but it was not the best decision.”