When Deontay Wilder knocked down Tyson Fury in the 12th round, most people had thought that the Bronze Bomber had done the unthinkable and delivered the Gypsy King his first defeat.
However, the undefeated 30-year-old Brit stunned the 33-year-old WBC Heavyweight Champion and the entire boxing world when he made it back to his feet before the count of ten.
Considering how hard that the former WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO Champion hit the canvas, it's not hard to imagine that referee Jack Reiss could have stopped the fight there and then.
However, Reiss has now explained his reason for not stopping the bout and firing back at claims that he had purposely stalled the count.
"Let me tell you, if [there] was earlier, heavy damage and [Fury] had been hurt -- you know, there was a history in the fight that he was really getting knocked around and he fell like that and hit his head -- I would've waved it off," he told SiriusXM Boxing (via Bad Left Hook).
"But 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. So I took my time -- not that I stalled the count like these knuckleheads are saying -- just patient and I went down to make sure what I was doing was correct, 'cause I wanna do what's best for boxing. I always wanna do what's best for boxing.
"And listen, look at all the talk. Look at the controversy over who they thought won, the rematch. This thing here, there was such a buzz over this. I think it's best for boxing. Let's see it again."
The match between the two boxers ended in a controversial draw, with many believing that Fury should have been named the winner of the fight.
The Gypsy King has recently revealed what Reiss told him when he was knocked down during the 12th round, while Wilder has posted a video to suggest that Fury failed to make the count.
Should Fury have been declared the winner of the bout?
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Featured Image Credit: PA