LAS VEGAS – Tyson Fury has no issues with how Kenny Bayless officiated his rematch against Deontay Wilder.
The veteran referee from Nevada broke Fury and Wilder apart numerous times during their physical fight Saturday night at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Without having warned the newly crowned WBC heavyweight champion, Bayless also deducted a point from Fury for hitting Wilder when he called for a break late in the fifth round.
England’s Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) still commended Bayless for handling a tough task well when asked about Bayless’ fairness following his seventh-round stoppage of the previously undefeated Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs).
“Listen, the man’s got a job to do,” Fury said during the post-fight press conference. “He done a good job. He took control of the fight and he did what he had to do. I’ve got no problems with what he did, and it was what it was. You know, it was a grueling fight while it lasted, and he was trying to clean it up in there. He hit me after the bell – not after the bell, after he said, ‘Break,’ we hit each other. I got a point taken off, but it wasn’t gonna alter the fight. I think he did a fair job, to be fair.”
The point deduction was rendered irrelevant, of course, because Fury stopped Wilder in their 12-round rematch. Bayless also ruled that Wilder slipped or was pushed to the canvas twice, but he counted a knockdown for Fury in the third round after he hit Wilder on the back of his head.
Just before Fury landed that rabbit punch, Fury had hit Wilder with a left hand to the middle of his face when Wilder was bent over. Fury scored a second knockdown during the fifth round, when he hit a backpedaling Wilder with a left hand to the body that sent Wilder to the seat of his trunks.
Wilder got up from both knockdowns, but Fury battered the exhausted ex-champion during the seventh round. Mark Breland, Wilder’s assistant trainer, threw in the towel because he felt Wilder, backed into a neutral corner and absorbing unanswered right hands from Fury, was taking too much punishment.
Once he saw the white towel hit the canvas, Bayless stopped their fight at 1:39 of the seventh round.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.