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Joe Cortez talks Wilder vs. Fury knockdown count

Deontay Wilder Tyson Fury

By Tim Royner: Former referee Joe Cortez says he would have likely stopped the Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury fight in the 12th round after the British heavyweight was knocked down hard by a combination from the ‘Bronze Bomber’ earlier this month on December 1 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

Cortez says nine out of ten referees would have halted the Wilder-Fury fight if they had seen Fury get dropped in the same way in round 12. The referee that worked the fight, Jack Reiss, stood over a motionless Fury, and counted while hie eyes were closed after being dropped by Wilder. Fury eventually got back to his feet, but it looked like he was unconscious for part of the count by Reiss.

The question is should Reiss be celebrated for giving a count to a fighter that appeared to be knocked out in Fury’s case in the 12th or did he make a mistake in not stopping the fight. If Reiss did the right thing in counting until Fury woke up, should all referees now do the same thing for fights? If there’s a chance that a fighter will wake up before the count of ten, should referees continue to count when a fighter appears to be unconscious like Fury?

“Any referee on the planet would have stopped it when he saw the way Tyson Fury went down, but Jack Reiss, with his experience, he saw that maybe he’s going to give him a chance, because it’s a championship fight,” legendary former trainer Joe Cortez said to Fighthype about referee Jack Reiss choosing not to stop the fight in the 12th round after Tyson Fury was seemingly knocked unconscious by Deontay Wilder. “At the count of five, Tyson Fury WOKE UP, and finished up strong in that round.”

Cortez points out that he believes that Reiss didn’t stop the Wilder-Fury fight on the spot in the 12th, considering that it was a “championship fight.” Should whether a fight is a championship level one or a regular fight have any barring as to whether a referee should stop a contest when a fighter is badly hurt? Logically, it would seem that it wouldn’t matter whether a fight is a championship level contest or not. If a fighter is hurt to the point where he’s laying motionless on the canvas with his eyes closed, the bout should be halted, period. If the referees are going to treat knockdowns such as the one that took place in the 12th round differently, depending on whether the fight is a championship level one or not, then they should have that in the rules for the fights.

“Most likely [he would have stopped it],” Cortez said in commenting about what he would have done if he saw Tyson Fury get knocked down in the 12th round by Deontay Wilder. “Nine out of ten referees would have stopped it, including myself,” Cortez said of the Wilder-Fury fight in the twelfth round.

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