Joe Rogan made a bold claim when discussing what he adamantly claimed was a slow count during the fourth round of the Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder 3 fight. Rogan, discussing the fight on his podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience”, called the count — when Fury hit the deck in the fourth round — “…an error, or corruption.”
It was neither, according to the rules.
“There was some controversy about this fight and one of those controversies was the extremely long count when Tyson Fury went down,” said Rogan.
“This is what happened. The referee is supposed to go ‘One two…’ when the guy goes down, but if for any reason he has to interrupt the count, but if for any reason he has to interrupt the count because…. the opponent needs to be told to go to the neutral corner, you’re supposed to pick up the count where the ringside counter has it. So there’s a guy who’s counting ringside, and he’ll keep the count going,” Rogan said.
“So if you’re at ‘One, two,’ and then you’re like ‘Go to a neutral corner,’ that guy is supposed to be like ‘three, four, five,’ but he didn’t. He (the ref) went back to it, ‘three, four,’ but the guy had already been down for a couple seconds. Without a doubt, it was a long count,” Rogan continued.
“It’s one of two things. It’s either a mistake, and the guy made an error… I think it’s an error, or corruption. Most likely an error, most likely the guy’s panicking,” Rogan said.
The video of the knockdown shows the referee, Russell Mora, who reffed three previous title fights in 2021, including the recent Manny Pacquiao vs. Yordenis Ugas bout, stopping the count to tell Wilder to stay in a neutral corner and then picking up the count where he left off.
According to longtime referee John McCarthy, Mora was correct in pausing the count and restarting the way he did.
I love ya DC, but you have to know the rules before saying the ref was wrong, Unified Rules of Boxing state“Keep an eye on the standing boxer and make sure he stays in neutral corner. If boxer comes out, STOP THE COUNT, put boxer back into neutral corner and then resume counting” https://t.co/MSEO1PA0SN— Big John McCarthy (@JohnMcCarthyMMA) October 13, 2021
McCarthy, addressing former UFC champion Daniel Cormier’s claims that the count was long and that the referee should not have paused the count, McCarthy tweeted, “I love ya DC, but you have to know the rules before saying the ref was wrong, Unified Rules of Boxing state “Keep an eye on the standing boxer and make sure he stays in neutral corner. If boxer comes out, STOP THE COUNT, put boxer back into neutral corner and then resume counting.”
McCarthy is correct. Here is the rule as written in the Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports, “Regulatory Guidelines and Rules For All World and Regional Championship Bouts:”
“When a knockdown occurs, the downed boxer’s opponent shall go to the furthest neutral corner and remain there while the count is being made. The referee may stop counting if the opponent fails to go to the neutral corner, and resume the count where he/she l when the opponent reports to or returns to the neutral corner.”
So both Rogan and Cormier are wrong here. According to the rules above, referee Mora did nothing improper during the so-called slow count. Since Mora followed WBC rules to the letter, any suggestion that the count was intentionally slowed to influence the outcome of the bout is totally without merit. Fury was, and will remain the victor, despite what folks who haven’t read the rules might say.