Tyson Fury should have been STOPPED in the ninth round against Oleksandr Usyk, insists David Haye as he says the referee gave the Brit 20 seconds to recover and ‘it looked really bad from ringside’

Oleksandr Usyk was robbed of an emphatic knockout of Tyson Fury in the ninth round of their epic heavyweight title fight, claims David Haye.

The moment of the fight – which the Ukrainian won on the official scorecards – came after Usyk had shifted the momentum, landing a stunning left hand to scatter Fury’s senses and send him bouncing from rope to rope.

Somehow he managed to stay on his feet while Usyk chased him, attempting to land the killer blow.

But the referee Mark Nelson called a knockdown with Fury on the ropes, which he was entitled to do, giving him a standing count, though Haye and Usyk’s manager Krassyuk thought the ref got it wrong and that he was unable to intelligently defend himself.

Haye told TNT Sports: ‘If Fury was doing that to Usyk it would have been stopped. The referee stopped him and his opportunity.

Oleksandr Usyk rocked Tyson Fury badly in the ninth round and the referee intervened

Fury was out on his feet and slumped on the ropes when given a standing count

Haye, pictured here on TNT punditry duty along with Carl Frampton (centre) and Becky Ives (right), said Fury was lucky not to have been stopped

‘Then gave him 20 seconds to completely recover. It looked really bad from ringside. Even Fury fans said, “thanks ref.”‘

Krassyuk spoke in the aftermath of Usyk’s split decision win over the ‘Gypsy King’ and also argued that Usyk would have finished his opponent if it had not been for the referee stepping in to call a knock down with Fury still upright.

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He said: ‘I’m exhausted, I was backing Usyk all fight.

‘No disrespect to the referee but I think he stopped a KO in the ninth but anyway it was a tremendous performance.

‘It was unbelievable and I hope to see more in the rematch.’

Ultimately, Fury was saved by the bell in the round and was able to regather his senses on his stool, battling on well to the end of the fight.

The Brit suffered the first defeat of his career but avoided being knocked out

Usyk was then given the nod on the scorecards in a split decision, meaning his lack of stoppage proved academic to the result.

Fury bizarrely claimed afterwards that the judges had seen the fight for his competitor because Ukraine is at war.

It was an epic battle and no doubt Usyk will have his say on the potential stoppage in the days to come, though it is likely he’ll have his chance to secure the KO he may have been denied if the pair rematch as expected later this year.

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