Oleksandr Usyk’s cutman Russ Anber feels the referee, Mark Nelson, shouldn’t have stopped the fight in the ninth round to give Tyson Fury a standing eight count after he’d been hurt last Saturday night in Riyadh.

Usyk Denied a Potential Knockout

Russ notes that Fury bounced off the rope six different times in the ninth trying to escape Usyk. Why was the last time any different from the previous five for the referee to stop the action and give a standing eight count? Fury was using the ropes strategically to keep from being knocked out.

Anber says Usyk (22-0, 14 KOs) should have been allowed to “finish the job” by knocking out Fury (34-1-1, 24 KOs) was in distress after being hit with 20 unanswered shots in the ninth.

The rationale that referee for giving Fury a standing eight is that the ropes held him up. Anber says that when Fury was hurt, he bounced off the ropes, trying to save himself, but he wasn’t being held up by them. He was using the ropes to avoid getting hit.

That’s Fury’s defensive strategy of leaning way against the ropes, holding onto the ropes, and using a long frame to put his head out of reach by his opponents.

Referee’s Role in Question

“No, I don’t think it should have been stopped. I don’t think it should have been scored a knockdown,” said Usyk’s coach Russ Ander to Boxing King Media, talking about the referee giving Tyson Fury a standing eight count in the ninth.

“I think Usyk should have been able to finish the job because he had him reeling, he had him going,” Anber continued about Fury being hurt in the ninth and the referee jumping in, stopping the action and giving him a standing eight count, which gave the Gypsy King time to recover.

“You have the option to stop the fight or let Usyk finish the job. That’s what they tell you in the dressing room. ‘If you’re in trouble, put a knee to the ground because I have no alternative but to stop the fight.’

Fury’s Defensive Tactics

“This business that the ropes were keeping him up. Well, it’s a square ring, right? When you’re bouncing and saving yourself, of course, you’re going to fall into the ropes. That’s what you’re supposed to do.”

Anber feels that Fury’s actions were deliberate, and a tactical move after being hurt. Fury had a habit of using the ropes to his advantage in fights to avoid getting hit. As a result, the standing eight count was the right call by the referee.

“You have to understand this. If you get knocked down and your hand gets hooked in the bottom of the ropes and prevents you from falling down. You’re out, you can’t go down,” said Anber.

“You’re locked in a position that you can’t go down to the ground. Yes, that’s right, but that wasn’t the case. He [Fury] bounced off the ropes six different times. Why was the last one any different? He should have been allowed to finish or stop the fight,” said Anber about the referee needing to either halt the match in the ninth or stop the fight to give Usyk a knockout win.

“If he’s defenseless, stop the fight. There’s no standing eight count,” said Anber.

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