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02nd Dec 2018

Deontay Wilder was not too happy about the referee’s count in the 12th round

'The Bronze Bomber' contrasted the count with a knockout earlier in the night

Darragh Murphy

“I don’t know how he got up.”

Deontay Wilder was as perplexed as anyone to see Tyson Fury dramatically climb off the canvas after the devastating 12th-round knockdown on Saturday night.

Wilder celebrated as if it was a knockout, admitting afterwards that he saw Fury’s eyes roll back as all 6ft 9in of him came crashing down.

Down on two scorecards going into the final round of the WBC heavyweight title fight, the defending champion displayed all the urgency of a man chasing a finish and he came within a whisker of getting it.

From motionless on the canvas, Fury took a couple of deep breaths and somehow summoned the ability to shake the cobwebs loose and return to his feet to see out the 12 rounds.

Referee Jack Reiss gave Fury every chance as he seemingly checked on his well-being for a split second before starting his count and Wilder was not happy about the apparent delay, contrasting the official’s count with a knockout earlier in the night.

“I don’t want to take nothing away from the fight but like I said, I’ve got a few questions that I ask myself that are circulating around, about the count,” Wilder said in his post-fight press conference.

“I saw my man Joe Hanks [against Joe Joyce] and they got to him quick. He hit the ground and they started counting.

“But Fury was laid out and it was like they hesitated a little bit or whatever.

“But I take nothing from it. We’re both going home happy and that’s what it’s all about, two fighters whooping each other’s asses and being able to hug each other at the end and tell each other we love each other.”