By Ruslan Chikov
Referee Steve Smoger has fallen under fire over his delayed reaction to stop the fight between Roy Jones Jr. and Denis Lebedev On Saturday night at the Dynamo Arena in Moscow, Russia, Lebedev baldy hurt Jones with a combination in the final minute of the tenth and final round. Jones was seemingly out on his feet and slumped forward with hands down to his waist, but Smoger allowed the action to continue, and then Lebedev landed a crushing hook which sent Jones crashing to the canvas on his face and unconscious.
Smoger tells Alexander Pavlov that Jones was playing possum several times in the contest and when Lebedev would attempt to finish him off, Jones would strike him with punches and then play to the crowd. When Lebedev badly hurt Jones, Smoger was not sure if Jones as pulling another stunt by pretending to be hurt.
"I didn't stop the fight because there were only a matter of seconds remaining in the fight and it seemed that Roy was pretending, trying to trick his opponent," said Smoger. "He did this repeatedly in the fight. So I thought Jones was doing the same thing here, trying to deceive Lebedev in the final seconds of the fight in order to lure Denis in to land a big punch [which Jones managed to do in the previous round]."