Oleksandr Usyk 'was touching the referee during win over Tyson Fury' as harsh verdict given

Oleksandr Usyk 'was touching the referee during win over Tyson Fury' as harsh verdict given

WATCH NOW: Oleksandr Usyk win over Tyson Fury analysed

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 25/05/2024

- 11:29

Updated: 29/05/2024

- 14:01

Both men put on a fine show in Saudi Arabia last weekend, with the Ukrainian coming out on top

Carl Froch believes the Oleksandr Usyk was touching the referee to ask for more room before being denied a knockout in his win over Tyson Fury last weekend.

Usyk won via split decision in Saudi Arabia to become undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, inflicting a first professional defeat on his opponent in the process.

Yet while the 37-year-old won the bout, there was controversy during the clash.

In the ninth round, Usyk had Fury on the ropes and looked set to land a decisive blow to bring the fight to a premature end.

Oleksandr Usyk Tyson Fury

Oleksandr Usyk was denied a knockout by referee Mark Nelson during his boxing clash with Tyson Fury last weekend


Referee Mark Nelson prevented that from happening, however.

And Froch believes Nelson's performance was 'terrible' and claims Usyk was touching the official to request more room before ultimately letting his opponent 'off the hook'.

"The referee was terrible, he was intervening," Froch told Safebettingsites.com.

"Usyk was touching him as if to say ‘listen, I need some room here.’

"When he had finished knocking him from one side of the ring to the other, when he fell on the ropes once and then twice, he was so fearful of Usyk.

"The ref kind of half intervened and Usyk stopped straightaway. He stopped punching and let Fury off the hook.

"He was saved by the referee and then saved by the bell, but I’m kind of glad it happened because it kept the undisputed, unification fight going - we’ve got another nine minutes.

"Fury had his chance to try and do something about it, Usyk had a chance to finish strong and try and get a stoppage.

"It was just exciting, we got a full twelve rounds."

Fury said in the aftermath of his defeat that, had he known he was behind on points, he'd have upped the ante.

Yet Froch believes the result in the Middle East was the right one.

"I had Usyk up 4-2 after six then Tyson started to come into it more," he added.

"Tyson Fury did not win the first five or six rounds.

"If the ropes weren’t there, would Tyson Fury have fallen over? Probably.

"Fury knew the ropes were there and used them. The right man won."


Carl Froch

Carl Froch believes Oleksandr Usyk deserved his win over Tyson Fury


While Fury is expected to meet Usyk in a rematch, speculation he could retire remains ongoing.

Froch can't see that happening, however, despite the disappointing nature of the defeat.

He continued: "I think it’s a bad retirement for Fury to swallow if he retires off the back of a loss like that.

"Maybe he fights again, but where does he find the motivation? He’s going to go up in weight now, he’ll be a bit p****d off, his pride will be hurt and the manner in which he got beat - and now because of social media, the memes go around and the replays.

"It can be cruel and torturous, luckily it wasn’t like that when I was fighting.

Tyson Fury Oleksandr Usyk

Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk are set to meet for a second time later in the year


"If you’re the guy on the losing end of this stuff, it just cuts a bit deeper every time.

"How do you cope with that moving forward?"

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