Winter Gardens, Blackpool, Lancashire - A suspect stoppage can strike right back to you in the UK! Known for their barely justified stoppages in both international and domestic contests (most notable recent example being a TKO in the Chisora vs. Scott showdown),
British referees can sometimes hurt their own compatriots as well. That was exactly what has happened in an important light middleweight contest between comebacking Brit Brian Rose and American gatekeeper Carson Jones for the vacant WBC International title. Jones stopped Rose in 2:36 of the first round, but the "star" of the night undeniably was local referee Ian John-Lewis.
"He didn’t give me a chance but I feel he gave Jones a chance. I buzzed him and I had him going worse than he had me," Rose told Sky Sports.
"I’m so annoyed at the referee’s decision, he stood in here 15 minutes before saying he’d give us both a chance if we were hurt. He didn’t give me a chance. I might have been hurt, I felt a buzz but I knew exactly where I was and I was about to start firing my shots back.
"That’s the way I fight, I cover up and let my opponents let their shots go. The referee should know that. I’m the sort of fighter who gets hit, covers up, and takes it on the gloves."
Rose, 29, was fighting for the second time since a stoppage loss in a fight for the vacant WBO crown against Demetrius Andrade. Jones, 28, on the other hand, was just one bout removed from his own stoppage loss to future IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook, also in the UK. Jones gave hell to Brook in their first fight in July 2012, however.
Rose started confidently, looking for the opportunity to hurt Jones with both head and body shots. He did land several pretty-looking right hands early on - but Jones responded accordingly. From the second half of the second minute of the round, he began to dig deep and land blows of his own to the chin of Rose. One of them had the Brit hurt, forcing him to almost turn his back on the opponent. Jones landed several more shots, making Rose unsteady and wobbling on his feet. Suddenly, Ian John-Lewis stepped in and poked Jones, then took Rose's head with both arms in a gesture of consolation.
Rose (26-3-1, 8 KOs) was in disbelief as his career was going down the drain. He was extremely disappointed with the outcome, not giving any post-fight quickies and immediately rushing to the dressing-room for some inner destruction. Calm and reserved Jones (37-10-3, 27 KOs) indicated he felt bad for his opponent and also said he was not opposed to a rematch - an intention which was confirmed by Rose's promoter Eddie Hearn.
Rose added: "He was going to come with a barrage of punches, I know that’s what he was going to do, but I would have soaked them up and it would have been him in the long run losing all his energy. That’s how I fight, he’s an experienced referee, he should know that.
"I hold my hands up, I was hurt, but so was he. I don’t think it should have been stopped. He caught me and I felt a buzz but Demetrious Andrade hit me 50 times like that. I demand a rematch. I want something done. He gave him a chance, why not give me a chance?