Top 6 Most Famous Draws in Boxing History As Fabio Wardley and Frazer Clarke Fight to a Stalemate

Top 6 Most Famous Draws in Boxing History As Fabio Wardley and Frazer Clarke Fight to a Stalemate

Byron Pillay
April 1, 2024 at 12:56 PM
  • Fabio Wardley retained his British and Commonwealth Heavyweight titles after a draw with Frazer Clarke
  • Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield's draw caused controversy and problems between Britain and the USA
  • The first fight between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury was deemed controversial after it ended in a draw

Every boxer wants to get their hand raised after a gruelling fight.

But when neither man can land a knockout blow, the decision lies in the hands of the judges.

While the judges’ scorecards decide many fights, some are too close to call and deemed a draw.

Fabio Wardley and Frazer Clarke's bout ended in a draw after an action-packed 12 rounds.
Fabio Wardley and Frazer Clarke's bout will go down in history as one of boxing's most famous draws. Image: James Chance.
Source: Getty Images

With Fabio Wardley and Frazer Clarke fighting to a draw in an action-packed fight at the O2 Arena in London, Sports Brief looks at some of the most famous draws in boxing history.

Boxing's most famous draws

Wardley vs Clarke

We start with the most recent bout to be declared a stalemate.

Wardley and Clake faced off against each other at the O2 Arena in London, battling it out for the British and Commonwealth Heavyweight straps.

Clarke was knocked down in the fifth round and had a point deducted for a low blow, while Wardley finished the fight with a bloodied face.

After 12 action-packed rounds, the three judges each had a different score, and the fight was declared a split draw.

Pacquiao vs Marquez

Some would consider Juan Manuel Marquez lucky to have escaped the first round of his first fight with Manny Pacquiao.

The Mexican was knocked down three times in the opening round, but the referee allowed him to fight on. He found his feet during the rest of the fight; some even believed he did enough to claim victory.

The judges saw it very differently, with one scoring it 115-110 in favour of the Pacman, while the other gave it to Marquez 115-110. The third judge scored it 113-113.

The two rivals have met thrice since then, with Pacquiao winning the second and third on the scorecards, while Marquez won the fourth by knockout.

Stevenson vs Jack

In 2018, Adonis Stevenson and Badou Jack battled for the WBC’s Light Heavyweight title in Montreal.

Many described it as a fight of two halves, as Stevenson started the stronger fighter and came out on the front foot, while The Ripper (Jack) bided his time until his opponent was tired. He then dominated the latter half of the fight until Stevenson rallied back towards the end.

Two judges scored it 114-114 while the third gave it to Jack, 115-113. The fight was declared a majority draw, and Stevenson retained his belt.

Ironically, it was the third draw of The Ripper’s career, BoxRec noted.

Leonard vs Hearns

Eight years after their first bout, Sugar Ray Leonard and Thomas Hearns faced each other again in a battle for the WBC and WBO Super Middleweight titles.

The two legends of the sport previously met in 1981, with Leonard winning the fight in the 14th round by TKO.

He didn’t have it all his own way in the rematch, as he was knocked down in the third and seventh rounds.

He did have his fair share of attacking chances, as he almost dropped Hearns in the 12th round.

The fight was declared a split draw after one scored it 113-112 for Leonard, the other scoring it 113–112 for Hearns, and the third having it at 112–112. The decision was booed by fight fans.

Lewis vs Holyfield

Two of boxing’s best heavyweights faced off for the WBC, WBA and IBF heavyweight titles in 1999, in what is considered one of the worst decisions in boxing history.

Lennox Lewis put on one of his finest performances in the ring as he dominated Evander Holyfield over 12 rounds.

Despite this, the British boxer was not declared the winner, and the fight was deemed a draw. The hugely controversial decision caused a scene in the boxing world. Britain’s Prime Minister was even urged to cut diplomatic ties with the United States of America after the bout.

The Ring even described the decision as a robbery.

Wilder vs Fury

Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury have faced off three times, with their first fight bringing the controversy.

The Bronze Bomber and Gypsy King fought out a draw for the WBC Heavyweight belt at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Wilder knocked down Fury twice in the fight and later blamed a slow count for him not getting the win, while many believe Fury did enough in the rest of the fight to be declared the winner.

Neither man suffered a blemish on their unbeaten records, and Wilder retained the belt.

He would lose it in the rematch with the Gypsy King and would lose their third fight as well.

5 MMA stars who turned to boxing

MMA and boxing differ significantly, but that hasn’t stopped the occasional crossover fight taking place.

Notable MMA stars have tested their skills inside the scored circle, often to disappointing results.

Sports Brief previously looked at five former mixed martial arts stars who tried their hand at boxing.

Byron Pillay photo
Byron Pillay
Byron Pillay is a sports writer and Head of the Department at Sports Brief (joined in 2022) with over 10 years of experience in community journalism and a degree in journalism from Caxton's Cadet School.
Tyson FuryDeontay Wilder