IF a different referee had been in charge the night Deontay Wilder dropped Tyson Fury in the final round of their WBC heavyweight title fight in December, their respective pro records would look very different.
Gone would be the draw and in its place would be a 42nd victory for Wilder and a first loss for Fury.
Or at least that’s the view of Wilder, who says Fury benefited from referee Jack Reiss’ slow count when he performed what many considered a miraculous comeback to reach the final bell nine months ago.
“I’m 41-0 and 40 knockouts. Forget the draw because that was no draw. I knocked him out,” Wilder told SecondsOut. (I think he means 42-0 with 40 knockouts but maybe he would rather pretend the Fury fight never happened.) “Jack Reiss showed favouritism. He had an emotional connection to Fury because of his story, along with everyone else.
“Jack Reiss said he went off the spirit of boxing, not the rules. His job is to count. When you see Fury getting up, he didn’t start counting immediately.
“As Fury gets up, you can see him pausing. You’ve got to count him out.
“That was all emotional. All those things add up and people think he won. He didn’t win.
“Thank God I had amazing judges who can read through all that. He was actually missing a lot of shots. I never got credit for the stuff I was doing good.”
Before he can share a ring again with Fury, Wilder must first take on Cuban Luis Ortiz, another heavyweight with whom he has history, on November 23.
After that, though, surely it will be time for Wilder and Fury to stop the talk, stop the complaining, stop the rewriting of history, and clear up the grey area once and for all.
Apparently WBA, IBF and WBO world heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jnr isn’t opposed to transitioning from pro boxing back to amateur boxing for the purpose of representing Mexico at the 2020 Olympic Games.
As farfetched as it sounds, Ruiz has responded to the call of Miguel Torruco Garza, head of the Mexican National Boxing Commission, and claimed he will do “everything possible” to contribute to the national team’s push at the 2020 Olympic Games.
“On the instructions of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, I personally sent a letter to all current Mexican boxing champions inviting them to participate in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifiers to represent us patriotically,” said Garza.
One of those champions, Ruiz, is currently busy preparing for a December 7 defence of his titles against former champion Anthony Joshua. But that doesn’t mean he is going to rule out the possibility of making the unlikeliest of moves next year.
“It would be a great honor to represent Mexico in the Olympic Games,” Ruiz tweeted. “I have to look at the possible contractual commitments, but we will do everything possible to contribute in any way and put the name of Mexico on high once more. Great initiative!”
It will, in the end, no doubt be deemed the wrong move, but for now Andy Ruiz, as Mexico’s first ever world heavyweight champion, is saying all the right things.