REVEALED: Footage proves Deontay Wilder was at fault for referee Russell Mora’s longer count on Tyson Fury after he was knocked down because the American was not in a neutral corner
- Tyson Fury defended his WBC belt by defeating Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas
- Fury was himself was knocked down twice by the Bronze Bomber in round four
- Some believe referee Russell Mora’s counting may have left Fury off the hook
- However, rules state the downed boxer’s opponent must be in the neutral corner
- Mora had to stop his count briefly to order Wilder to be in the neutral corner
Deontay Wilder will only have himself to blame for referee Russell Mora’s long eight-count over Tyson Fury, when he failed to report to a neutral corner after flooring the Brit for a second time in the fourth round.
The Gypsy King was sent crashing to the canvas on two separate occasions during the fourth, but managed to recover and survive Mora’s count of eight to live on end up retaining his title.
However, many criticised Mora for counting to eight too slowly, with MMA icon Daniel Cormier hitting out at the official for being ‘crazy slow’, while boxing legend Andre Ward was also left unimpressed.
Tyson Fury was knocked down twice in the fourth round by Deontay Wilder on Saturday
Referee Russell Mora was accused of counting slowly before Fury returned to his feet
But according to the rules, set out by the Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports, Mora was completely within his rights to stop his count in order to get Wilder to stand in a neutral corner.
The rules state that the downed boxer’s opponent must be in a neutral corner while any count is being made and the referee has the power to stop their count if a fighter has failed to do so.
It reads: ‘When a knockdown occurs, the downed boxer’s opponent shall go to the furthest neutral corner and remain there while the count is being made.
‘The referee may stop counting if the opponent fails to go to the neutral corner, and resume the count where he/she left off when the opponent reports to or returns to the neutral corner.’
Wilder was ordered by Mora to go to a neutral corner during the eight-count on Fury
Mora was following the rules as he stopped his count at five to order Wilder to a neutral corner
With Fury on his back for the second time, Mora can be seen beginning his count before stopping at five to order Wilder to a neutral corner.
Cormier, a MMA and UFC legend, saw issue with the count and tweeted: ‘The count was crazy slow. He isn’t supposed to stop counting to tell Deontay to go to his corner.’
Ward, who was ringside working on commentary, said: ‘That was an extremely slow count on both of those knockdowns, I don’t know what that was about.’
MMA legend Daniel Cormier accused Mora of a ‘crazy slow’ count during the fourth round
When the Bronze Bomber first put Fury down in round four, Mora pointed to the corner which Wilder should have gone to, but the American instead went to his own corner, which again delayed the count.
Speaking after his victory however, Fury denied that he was hurt by Wilder’s two knockdowns in the fourth round, and declared himself the greatest heavyweight fighter of his era.
‘I wasn’t hurt. You get hit, you wake up on the floor,’ Fury said.
‘I got up and was very conscious the whole time. I was one punch away from knocking him out in the whole fight.
Fury eventually came up trumps and defended his title which he won 20 months ago
Fury insisted that he was not hurt by Wilder’s knockdown following his stunning victory
‘I am the greatest heavyweight champion of my era, without a doubt. Number one. If you play with fire long enough you will get burned.’
Up next for Fury will most likely be fellow Brit Dillian Whyte, who was confirmed as the mandatory challenger to the WBC-belt holder earlier this week, while the win pushed him closer to an undisputed showdown against either Anthony Joshua or his recent conqueror Oleksandr Usyk.
However, for Wilder, he will likely have to wait for the loser of Joshua and Usyk’s rematch, while a heavyweight clash with fellow American Andy Ruiz Jr is also on the cards.