Tyson Fury 27-0-1 (19) took until the count of nine to get up off the canvas after his twelfth round knockdown at the hands of WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder 40-0-1 (39) last weekend because he feared his legs would betray him, according to his promoter Frank Warren.
Speaking on the BBC podcast Costello and Bunce the veteran promoter said Fury proved him mettle in the final round of the heavyweight championship contest.
“He showed what he was made of, even the knockdown, I thought it was all over in that 12th round,” said Warren.
“Afterwards we spoke about it and he said the reason he didn’t get up so quickly — he said he couldn’t quite feel his legs. He didn’t want to get up and stand on wobbly legs and the referee stops it.
“The referee made it quite clear before the fight, he went to both fighters’ dressing rooms and said after the count of 10 — and he got up at nine — after the fighters get up they will be told to walk three paces to their right and left, and back again.
“Both of them had their instructions and that’s what Tyson did — he had the presence of mind to do that.”
Despite Fury’s final round heroics, he was only able to earn a split draw in a fight that most pundits had him winning.
Meanwhile American referee Jack Reiss has refuted claims he delivered a slow count in an interview with SiriusXM Boxing.
“The fight was so close, the magnitude of the fight — you know, a heavyweight championship fight,” Reiss explained. “I’ve always been taught to count a champion out and I wanted to give him every opportunity.
“I took my time — not that I stalled the count like these knuckleheads are saying, just patient — and I went down to make sure what I was doing was correct, because I want to do what’s best for boxing.”