Kenny Bayless, the referee who was in charge of the rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury last weekend, has revealed that he was closed to stopping the American from receiving more battering from his opponent, before his corner threw in the towel.
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Wilder’s corner threw in the towel to concede the fight in the seventh round, relinquishing his WBC title to Fury.
“It was a good stoppage in my opinion because in the minute’s rest between rounds before the stoppage I went over to Deontay,’ Bayless told SiriusXM Fight Nation.
“I looked him in the face and I gave him the line that us referees give the fighters to let them know, ‘Hey, you’ve gotta show me something.
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“They know that if you go back out there and you don’t show me something, then I might have to do my job and stop it.
“Deontay is a warrior, when I saw the towel come in out of the corner of my eyes and stopped it, Deontay’s first response was, ‘Why did I stop it?’
“Then I let him know it was his corner that stopped it, but I was very close to stopping it.”
Towards the middle of the fight, Wilder was bleeding seriously from his left ear, but a ringside doctor checked and gave him the all-clear to continue.
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It was later confirmed that his eardrum was not actually bleeding, but his earlobe, due to rings he wears in his ear.
“I thought that the blood was coming from the inside of the ear,’ Bayless added.
“At the end of the round when I went over to check, the doctor was already in the ring while I was picking up the scorecard.
“The doctor looked at me and said, ‘He’s all right.’ So at that point I left it alone”.
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Wilder has a rematch option, which will result in a trilogy fight, but many are calling for Fury to fight Anthony Joshua in a blockbuster all-English heavyweight unification bout.