Wilder may have kept his title and exhibited so savagely why he is called the "Bronze Bomber", but it was Fury who controlled most of the fight.
He still ended up flat on the canvas in the 12th round, his eyes rolling backward while Wilder celebrated above him. "So I am happy either or, I'm happy to fight Joshua or rematch Fury".
The WBC champion was, as expected, doing a lot of the coming forward but was being made to miss over and over again by Fury.
But the "Gypsy King" willed himself to his feet and held on to send the fight to the judges, who rewarded him for controlling much of the fight behind his long jab, precise footwork and slippery defense.
"This Wilder-Fury judging takes me back to my first fight with Evander Holyfield", he said on Twitter.
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They are suspected of interfering in regulatory decisions that favoured Bezeq and its majority shareholder Shaul Elovitch. The prime minister compared his defense to Hanukkah, which celebrates "the victory of light over darkness", he said.
Despite climbing off the canvas twice - the second knockdown in the final round appeared to momentarily leave him out cold - most observers thought Fury had done enough to claim a decision.
The bout was a rare meeting of two unbeaten heavyweight stars in their apparent primes, with both fighters putting aside caution and the typical squabbles over money or belts to stage one of the most compelling matchups in the glamour division's recent history.
"I should've won the fight but I'm not going to complain", Fury said.
But Fury gradually grew in confidence, regularly taunting Wilder by throwing his arms up in the air or behind his back.
"They need to get some good judges, these judges were bad", he said. Even without the knockdowns he still had me losing the fight. I came here tonight and I fought my heart out.
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Fury arrived to the ring dancing to his entrance music, Freed From Desire, with his large travelling support singing him on the way.
According to the Mirror, he said: "I'm going to give it to the poor and I'm going to build homes for the homeless".
Ice Cube's rushed interview with TMZ last night was a good example of a fan being coerced by a persuasive moment in a fight. I wasn't hurt. I did not sit still, I was too hesitant, I started overthrowing the right hand.
But early in the ninth, Fury went down when he absorbed a shot to the top of the head from Wilder.
"Everybody out there who has the same problems I've been suffering with, I did that for you guys". In his worst state, Fury was almost 400 pounds.
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