Veteran referee Kenny Bayless was the man in the middle as Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury met in a heavyweight rematch. ‘The Gypsy King’ emerged victorious on the night to become the new WBC and Ring Magazine champion.
Speaking post-fight via The Metro Bayless has revealed he was very close to stopping the fight and had even given Wilder a warning about what was about to happen. However Wilder’s corner eventually threw in the towel and saved Bayless the job.
“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.’ 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.”
Bayless also cleared up the situation regarding Wilder’s ear which appeared to be bleeding through much of the fight. According to the official it was just a small cut and not a serious injury as many first feared.
“I thought that the blood was coming from the inside of the ear,’ said Bayless. ‘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. ‘It wasn’t until after the fight that the doctor said Deontay wears those things in his earlobes, those rings, apparently that lobe got cut and it was the lobe that was bleeding, not the eardrum.”
Should Kenny Bayless have stopped the fight before the towel came in?