Boxing analyst Teddy Atlas says the referee would have stopped last Saturday’s fight between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk in the ninth round if it hadn’t been the Gypsy King who was hurt.

Luckily, the referee’s decision not to stop the fight didn’t alter the outcome. There would have been a massive backlash if Fury had won a decision because of the referee’s failure to stop the contest.

Atas is glad the referee, Mark Nelson, gave Fury (34-1-1, 24 KOs) a standing eight count rather than stopping it because it allowed both fighters to show their magnificence.

What Atlas didn’t says is whether the same referee, Mark Nelson, would have stopped the fight to give a standing eight count if it were Usyk who was hurt in the ninth round. Would he have made that move? Usyk isn’t as popular as Fury, so would that factor in the referee’s decision whether to save him like he did Tyson?

However, neither fighter looked especially brilliant in the final three rounds. Usyk looked tired and failed to go after Fury to finish him in rounds 10, 11, and 12. As for Fury, he didn’t land much of anything in the final three rounds and looked tired and old.

Atlas says Usyk intentionally held back when he had Fury one punch away from being knocked out in the ninth round, He thinks Usyk slowed up and chose not to go for the KO. I don’t agree. In watching the replay, Usyk was getting ready to throw a final KO shot; the referee shouldered past him and stopped him from finishing off Fury.

It looked odd and totally out of place to how fights normally play out. The only thing that you can think of is the referee saw that Fury was in a dire situation, and he stepped in and gave him a standing eight, which is what you see in the amateurs but not in the pro games.

In this case, the referee gave Fury a standing eight found, and it looked so obvious that he was saving the old guy.

Usyk’s Intentional Restraint

“When he was closing in on that last shot, Fury was gone,” said boxing analyst Teddy Atlas on his YouTube channel, talking about how Oleksandr Usyk was looking to finish off Tyson Fury in round nine after hurting him last Saturday night.

“If Usyk hits him with that last shot, he can’t defend himself. He was like this [out on his feet]. He was going to get hit full-on force, and he was going down. There are two things that saved him. The referee stepped in, and Usyk saved him.

“Usyk is a special man. He slowed down. He could have thrown that punch. Nine people out of ten would have thrown that punch and they would have gotten it in before the referee got there. He could have thrown that punch before the referee closed in, but he saw, and he decided not to.

“He slowed down, he didn’t throw it and the referee got in there. The referee could have stopped the fight. Any other fighter and he stops it. He would have stopped it, but he did the right thing,” said Atlas about the referee Mark Nelson.

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