One legend less than impressed with the ending of a dramatic first encounter between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury was former heavyweight champion, Evander Holyfield.
Clearly outboxing Wilder for most of the fight, Fury was decked in the final round before getting back up in iconic style to beat the count by Jack Reiss.
The decision was met with a mixed response from the boxing fraternity.
Reiss would later deny claims of giving Fury a slow count. Something claimed by Wilder and others. Reiss pointed out the lineal champion deserved an opportunity to continue due to the magnitude of the fight.
However, Holyfield doesn’t believe the referee did his job accordingly. “The guy [Fury] was out. He just popped up and then the guy gave him more seconds and said walk to me and all of this. Those are not the rules,” he exclusively told World Boxing News.
“If you tell the guy to get up, you’re going to fight or turn the fan off. You can’t say, ‘walk right here’. He gave him too much time, but then he started beating him up after that. He started beating Deontay up in the middle of the round which shows how stronger he was.
“But you have to let him get up himself and can’t feel sorry for him. I just thought that was wrong, but I like both of the fighters.”
However, the ‘Real Deal’ is impressed with the desire of both fighters in LA and loves the fact that both of the heavyweights are prepared to overcome boxing politics in order to determine the best heavyweight in the division.
The pair commence battle once again on February 22 at the MGM Grand with a potential trilogy on the cards later this year.
“Those two guys got more heart than any of the other fighters in the division. They don’t complain about anything and will fight anyone and that’s what boxing is all about,” Holyfield said.
“I’d like to see both of them make a lot of money. Those two fighters would fight anybody at any given time they don’t care. And even if it’s about making money, when it comes down to fighting you have to show the spirit.
“As a champion, you realize everyone has their time to shine and at least you get beat by somebody who’s great rather than someone who’s not great.”