Video: WTF?! Referee rejects corner throwing in towel, lets beating continue before stopping it

What was that referee thinking?

By: Mookie Alexander | 2 years ago
Video: WTF?! Referee rejects corner throwing in towel, lets beating continue before stopping it
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

Argentina’s Jeremias Ponce (28-0, 18 KOs) went into enemy territory and scored an upset TKO win over England’s Lewis Ritson (21-2, 12 KOs) in Saturday’s Matchroom Boxing main event, but the ending was truly bizarre and asks questions about the competence of the referee.

Ponce dropped Ritson in the 10th round with a body shot attack and was clearly in control of the fight. It was at that moment that Ritson’s cornerman and father threw in the towel. Fight over, correct?! Wrong! Remember that only the referee can stop the fight and while we almost never see a towel rejection, Steve Gray was within his rights to let it continue. Rather ludicrously within the context of this bout and after the knockdown, it was a wholly unjustifiable decision.

Predictably, Ponce knocked Ritson down twice more (although the last one felt more like a push down) and then the ref called it off for real. Watch the video below:

For what it’s worth, Gray went into the locker room afterward and explained his decision to continue the fight even after Ritson’s corner gave the universal sign of surrender. In his view, he thought Lewis looked alright to him and that he would’ve honored the towel if head shots were landing and not body shots. Well it’s not like his answer was a great one, but you can watch that below:

Sometimes these things happen in boxing. Last time I can recall such an instance of a towel rejection was Yuri Foreman vs. Miguel Cotto, which proved an awful choice by Arthur Mercante Jr because Foreman came out of that fight with a wrecked knee.

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Mookie Alexander
Mookie Alexander

Mookie is a former Associate Editor for Bloody Elbow, leaving in August 2022 after ten years as a member of the staff. He's still lurking behind the scenes.

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