Respected official Jack Reiss has earned praise this week for his handling of Deontay Wilder v Tyson Fury on Saturday night.
Reiss let Fury carry on despite a massive knockdown in the twelfth round. After which the heavyweight was disorientated and out of it for a few seconds.
Giving Fury the benefit of the doubt allowed the 30 year-old to come to his senses around the count of six and eventually make it through the round to earn a draw.
Some fans have criticized Reiss for a slow count after Wilder pointed to the possibility himself. Although Wilder has also expressed his happiness at the job Reiss did in the fight.
Explaining his decision, Reiss said the high-profile nature of the contest played a part in allowing Fury every chance.
“If there was earlier, heavier damage and (Fury) had been hurt. Then he fell like that and hit his head, I would have waived it off. But the fight was so close. The magnitude of the fight, I’ve always been taught to count a champion out,” Reiss told Sirius XM Boxing Radio in the aftermath.
“I wanted to give him every opportunity, so I took my time. Not that I stalled the count like these knuckleheads are saying.
“I was patient and I went down to make sure what I was doing was correct. I want to do what’s best for boxing and I always want to do what’s best for boxing,” he added.
Listen to Jack Reiss on why he didn’t immediately stop the fight after Deontay Wilder’s brutal knockdown of Tyson Fury in round 12.
Referee @2jackreiss on why he didn't immediately stop the fight after Deontay Wilder's brutal knockdown of Tyson Fury in round 12.@CommishRandyG @gerrycooney #boxing #WilderFury pic.twitter.com/eu9VwcKpmg
— SiriusXM Boxing (@SiriusXMBoxing) December 4, 2018
Addressing the knockdown, Fury is still at a loss to put into words how he managed to get to his feet so quickly.
“How I got back up, I really don’t know,” Fury stated. “I was sound asleep on the floor. All of a sudden, I opened my eyes and I jumped up.
“But he (Reiss) had said to me (in the dressing room), he said to me, ‘if you get knocked down, I won’t stop the fight’.
He said, ‘I’ll tell you to step to the left and step to the right. If you can do that and you tell me you’re alright then I won’t stop the fight’.
“And then when he asked me if I was alright, I said ‘yes’. He told me to go the left, I went to the left. Then he told me to go to the right, I went to the right.
“He also said, being the most experienced referee in America, he said, ‘if you’re not capable, then I’ll stop the fight. But if you can continue I won’t.”