Fans on social media are questioning why the referee jumped in and stopped the contest, giving Raymond Ford (15-0-1, 8 KOs) credit for a 12th round knockout of Otabek Kholmatov (12-1 11 KOs) in the twelfth round on Saturday night in a Top Rank-promoted show in Verona, New York.

With the WBA featherweight title hanging in the balance, the referee’s decision to halt the fight with seven seconds remaining has led to a storm of criticism. It looked like a classic example of a hasty stoppage by a referee pulling the plug without even giving Kholmatov a chance after he had stumbled moments after being thrown to the canvas by Ford.

It looked to some like the Kholmatov would have easily made it out of the round and won the fight without the referee stopping the contents, giving the Camden, New Jersey fighter, Raymond Ford, the victory.

People on social media see this as another example of a controversial result, with a referee blowing it and ruining a perfectly good fight.

Premature Ending?

Only seven seconds were remaining on the clock, and it appeared to some that Kholmatov would have been able to survive the remaining time on the clock to get the win, but the referee stepped in and stopped the fight, giving Ford the win.

If the referee didn’t stop the fight then, Kholmatov would have likely made out of the round and won the fight by a 12 round split decision.

You can argue that Ford lucked out by the referee Charlie Fitch stopping the fight when he did because he likely wouldn’t have been able to finish Kholmatov, and he was too far behind on the scorecards to win a decision.

With the win, Ford captured the vacant WBA featherweight title, and he’s already talking about vacating the belt and moving up.

On social media, fans of Ford seem happy about the stoppage, whereas with neutral fans, they saw it as an example of the foreign fighter Kholmatov getting the business.


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