Here we go again. Just hours after Tyson Fury’s stunning defeat at the hands of the truly exceptional Oleksandr Usyk, we have some controversy building – or perhaps already built – regarding the count Fury was administered in the ninth round.

It seems there is always ‘something’ with a Fury fight; whether it’s a so-called long or slow count, a bad decision, or an accusation of him cheating.

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Right now, after Fury somehow survived that ninth round, easily the most torrid and damaging of his career, some people are saying the now former champ benefited from a “long count.” As fans know, Fury took a real hammering over the course of the final 30-seconds of the ninth round, and he was deemed to have been held up by the ropes by referee Mark Nelson and he jumped in to administer a standing-eight.

Nelson, the critics say, should not have issued the standing eight-count, and that the third man then sure took his sweet time giving Fury the count – with David Haye for one saying Fury got a “20-second count” last night.

If you look back at the footage, a badly dazed Fury does slump into the ropes and Nelson pushes Usyk away. The time between this and the fight being permitted to continue, this just as the bell rings to end the round, can indeed be counted at around 15 to 16 seconds.

Haye, along with Derek Chisora – and there will be more people to come out firing shots at Nelson, you better believe it – are saying Fury was “saved” from a knockout. Chisora confronted Nelson at ringside after the fight.

“That was the slowest count in boxing history, do you understand?” Chisora said. “Get your maths right, bro. It’s one, two, three, four, five, six…….”

Nelson merely smiled back at Chisora.

Meanwhile Haye, who called the fight for TNT, had the following to say:

“First and foremost, the fight should have been stopped in the ninth round,” Haye said. “I don’t know why the referee gave a count. I understand they say if the ropes are keeping you up, that means if anybody is on the ropes getting hit the referee should jump in and give you a count. I thought the ref should have let him finish him off or stop the fight. It seemed like a fair and square stoppage from my point of view. He was all over the place, he falls over. If it was the other way around, if Tyson Fury was doing this to Usyk the referee would have probably stopped it. But for some reason the referee came him a count and gave him a long 20-second count.”

It’s easy to agree with Haye when he says that if it was Fury who was doing to Usyk what Usyk was doing to him the third man would have dived in and stopped the fight. And if this had been the case, what do you think Fury and his supporters would be saying today? That it was a fair stoppage, that Usyk was “gone.” That Fury “didn’t want to hurt him badly.”

So, was Fury “saved” from a KO? We will never know. But again, there always seems to be some issue the critics can jump on after a Fury fight. Whether he wins or loses.

But watch the ninth round again, and it’s undeniable – Fury does indeed get way longer than an eight second count.

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