icon Updated at 10:37 AM EDT, Sun Jul 27, 2014

Bryant Jennings: Perez Point Deduction “Had to Happen”

by David P. Greisman

Some are up in arms at the fact that referee Harvey Dock deducted a point from Mike Perez in the final round of Perez’s fight Saturday night with Bryant Jennings. That deduction ended up proving the difference between a draw and the eventual result — Jennings winning by split decision.

The deduction came following a sequence in which Perez bulled his head into Jennings’ head, leaned him over the ropes, and then hit him with a shot as the referee was trying to break them.

“Something had to happen,” Jennings said at the post-fight press conference. “The ref warned him numerous times, and it was over 10 times, 10 warnings. If the ref tells you something that he doesn’t approve of, you can sneak a little one in there every now and then, but he repeatedly did it, and he showed disrespect to the ref by saying that ‘I don’t care what you say, this is my only way of getting to him in that manner, so I’ll continue to do that.’ ”

The point deduction not only gave Perez the loss, but it also cost him a title shot at the eventual winner of the upcoming fight between World Boxing Council titleholder Bermane Stiverne and challenger Deontay Wilder.

Pick up a copy of David’s book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide. Send questions/comments via email at [email protected]