Tyson Fury’s promoter, Frank Warren, has no problems with the referee, Mark Nelson, stepping in to stop the action in the ninth round to give a standing eight when the Gypsy King was battered from pillar to post by Oleksandr Usyk. He feels that the ropes prevented Fury from going down, so the standing eight count was justified.

Fans Fuming

Usyk’s promoter, Alex Krassyuk, feels the referee robbed Oleksandr of a knockout, and many boxing fans on social media agree. It looked like the referee was giving Fury special treatment, saving him from getting knocked out, and it tainted the fight.

It would have been even worse if Usyk had lost the fight by a decision, as the referee’s actions would have been criticized even more.

In looking at it on replay, it seems pretty obvious to some that the referee should have stopped the fight or allowed Usyk to finish punching Fury to put him down on the canvas.

There are a lot of people who believe the referee did the right thing. Promoter Eddie Hearn is one of them, but, of course, some would argue that he has a vested interest in Fury not being knocked out because he’s eager to make a fight between him and Anthony Joshua.

It would be interesting if Usyk was the one who was saved by the referee in the ninth round instead of Fury. Would Fury’s fans be fine with the referee giving Usyk a standing eight or would they be howling mad?

“The ropes stopped him from going down,” said promoter Frank Warren to Secondsout when asked what criteria the referee Mark Nelson used to step in, stop the action, and call it a knockdown, letting Oleksandr Usyk finish off Tyson Fury or waving off the fight in the ninth round when the Gypsy King was hurt.

“The proof is in the putting. Usyk couldn’t put him down again, and he got himself back,” said Warren with his roundabout answer to the question of why the referee didn’t let Usyk finish Fury instead of stopping the action.

“I thought the referee did a really good job. We collectively, both camps, wanted Mark Nelson because he’s a good referee. We all went through it and had the opportunity, all of us, to say, ‘We don’t want this guy. Let’s find somebody we accept. The governing bodies were absolutely happy with him.”

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