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John McDermott will forever be in history because of the controversial points decision that went against him when he boxed a young Tyon Fury in 2009.
The man believes he beat Fury, but he now works on the railways, fixing overhead cables.
“Of course it still annoys me,” McDermott told Sky Sports. “I’m not saying I would have gone onto fight for the world title but it would have helped me, at the time. A bit more money when there wasn’t much money in boxing. He’s a millionaire now and I’m struggling.”
McDermott was a 30-fight veteran who had lost his previous two, and five in total.
“They thought I’d be an easy fight. They didn’t think I could dig deep,” McDermott says. There is angst in his voice 11 years later.
“I remember walking up to the punch bag and my trainer drew a line at 6’9’’ and said: ‘This is how tall Tyson Fury is’. I remember thinking: ‘How am I going to hit the bloke?’”
McDermott crashed home his first overhand right after 30 seconds and couldn’t miss that same punch all night. At the end of the first round both boxers intentionally bumped heads and had to be dragged apart. The hostility upped a notch.
“In the third round I hit him with a jab and his eyes rolled but he came straight back,” McDermott remembered. “I thought: ‘This boy has some bottle’.”
“I’m not a massive puncher,” admitted McDermott. “I hit just enough. I didn’t catch him smack on the chin which was unlucky for me. He’s got a good chin.”
Fury had his moments too but this wasn’t the fight he expected.
“In the eighth, I shook him down to his boots. I thought I’d got him,” McDermott said. “But he came back like a wild bull!”
The feeling at the final bell was that a major upset had occurred but, immediately, referee Terry O’Connor raised Fury’s hand.
“I thought the judges were scoring it,” McDermott said, baffled to this day. “But people were booing and I saw the referee holding Fury’s hand up. It’s just madness, I don’t know what happened. How can he score it 8-2?”