Big fight ref on the ropes

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Sport -

LOS AN­GE­LES. — The ref­eree who of­fi­ci­ated Tyson Fury’s world heavy­weight box­ing ti­tle fight with Deon­tay Wilder has de­nied his count was slow and said he just wanted the “best for box­ing”.

Bri­ton Fury was knocked down in the ninth and 12th rounds, but re­gained his feet in a stun­ning draw in Los An­ge­les.

Amer­i­can Wilder has ques­tioned Jack Reiss’ count but Reiss says he wanted to give Fury “every op­por­tu­nity”.

“If there was ear­lier, heavy dam­age and (Fury) had been hurt, I would have waved it off,” he said.

Speak­ing to SiriusXM Box­ing, he added: “The fight was so close, the mag­ni­tude of the fight - you know, a heavy­weight cham­pi­onship fight - 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 knuckle-heads 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. Look at the con­tro­versy over who they thought won, the re­match. There was such a buzz over this. I think it’s best for box­ing.”

Fury’s in­cred­i­ble rise from the can­vas in the 12th round was one of the big­gest talk­ing points of the fight.

Af­ter­wards, BBC box­ing cor­re­spon­dent Mike Costello says the length of Reiss’ count would be “looked back on”.

Speak­ing on BBC Ra­dio 5 live’s box­ing pod­cast, an­a­lyst Steve Bunce added: “My gut feel­ing is it looked to me like Fury started to get up at eight. Was he up at 10? That will be de­bated. It would have been ven­omously de­bated if he [Fury] had walked away with the win and the agenda would be ‘it was a long count’.

“It was 25 sec­onds from the punch to the in­struc­tion to ‘box on’, which is prob­a­bly the long side of what hap­pens.”

On Wed­nes­day, Wilder re­posted a fan ac­count on In­sta­gram that claimed to show “proof” that Fury didn’t make the count.

How­ever, Fury’s pro­moter Frank War­ren re­sponded with a dif­fer­ent fan ac­count’s video, show­ing the Bri­ton on his feet in un­der 10 sec­onds. — BBC Sport

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