The Referee who officiated the highly anticipated bout between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder has denied claims that his count was slow.
Fury was knocked down in the ninth and 12th round but regained his confidence his a stunning draw earlier this month in Los Angeles.
Deontay Wilder has questioned referee Jack Reiss’ count but Reiss has denied the claims.
“If there was earlier, heavy damage and [Fury] had been hurt, I would have waved it off,” he said.
Speaking to SiriusXM Boxing, he added: “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.
“I took my time – not that I stalled thecount like these knuckleheads are saying, just patient – and I went down to make sure what I was doing was correct, because I want to do what’s best for boxing.
“Look at the controversy over who they thought won, the rematch. There was such a buzz over this. I think it’s best for boxing.”
Video footage has suggested that Reiss allowed Fury too much time to recover.
But the referee said: “The 10 count doesn’t mean 10 seconds.
“It is the referee’s opportunity to make sure the fighter who is hurt can intelligently defend himself because you’re about let a guy come hurtling across the ring and finish this guy.
“People started making them walk in a straight line, any drunk can walkin straight line. Doctors taught us it is hard to hide things are off when they have to change direction. That’s what I was doing.”