Remembering when Tyson Fury clung on to his unbeaten record thanks to 'worst decision ever' v John McDermott


When a youthful Fury met John McDermott in the squared circle back in 2009, everyone was expecting the Gypsy King to steamroll his opponent – but the uproar that greeted Terry O’Conner’s scorecard following the fight shows that Fury was bailed out of his first defeat.

“Going into the last round my corner told me; ‘John, you’re at least four rounds in front, keep on him’” said a luckless and emotional McDermott post-fight. “What have I got to do to win here?”

Arguably the most forgotten bad decision in years-gone-by, the verdict shocked the media and the Sky Sports commentators especially, with promoter Frank Maloney labelling it “daylight robbery.”

It also angered Guardian reporter Kevin Mitchell who couldn’t believe what he had witnessed, writing “I honestly cannot remember a worse decision in the sport.”

It was evident that even a hot-headed Fury came out of the fight knowing he had got away with it, admitting “That wasn’t a good performance by me at all. I’d rate that a two out of 10.”

O’Connor, who refereed proceedings and was the sole judge scored the bout a baffling 8-2 in favour of Fury after 10 rounds.

It’s shocking to see that the same fighter that had won title after title and is currently in contention to be considered the best heavyweight of this generation was once rocked by a fighter he was meant to roll-over.

The numerous eye-catching overhead rights that McDermott had nailed Fury with displays that O’Connor’s verdict was nothing but wide-of-the-mark.

A result that just couldn’t be ignored by the British Boxing Board of Control, who began an inquiry, with Maloney labelling the fight to be ruled as a ‘no contest’ – a decision that was unlikely, but a rematch was ordered within 90 days but with three ringside judges.

In Fury’s 2019 autobiography, he even noted that he “was going to retire if I lost the rematch and just forget about boxing.

“I knew if I was going anywhere, I had to beat him.”

The rematch that could’ve possibly halted his meteoric rise to heavyweight glory went just as planned for The Gypsy King; who boxed a lot more smartly, taking over in the eighth round and stopping McDermott in the ninth.

Making the record 11-0 with nine knock-outs, but many are lead to believe that it should have been 10-1.

Big John alleged that his appearance may have got in the way of getting a proper verdict, noting “Your face has to fit if you want to go all the way,” but after winning £500,000 in his boxing career, he admits that “if I had my life again, I don’t think I would be a boxer.”

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