Referee Jack Reiss has defended his decision to dock Logan Paul two points for an illegal blow on KSI in their hugely anticipated rematch at the Staples Center on Saturday night.
The American YouTuber landed a heavy uppercut that rocked KSI, but hit him again after he’d hit the deck, with experienced ref Reiss awarding two points for the knockdown, but then taking them away for the late hit.
The penalty was decisive, with two judges scoring the bout 57-54 and 56-55 in KSI’s favour while a third had it 56-55 for Paul, but Reiss stands by his decision.
Asked about the incident, Reiss told Seconds Out: ‘Please, watch the replay. So Logan hit him with a really good shot, an uppercut, and then Logan grabbed KSI behind the head and hit him with a second shot while he was holding him.
‘But KSI was already stumbling from that first one and going down and then when he was on the ground Logan hit him with a straight punch. There’s no such punch in boxing from 12 to 6 and Logan hit him, it’s a felony.
‘So originally I said, “no, no, no, stop, time” and I was going to do something. I gave JJ as much time as he needed to get back to his full strength and recover to level the playing field and then I told [the judges] to score the knockdown and then take away two points for the illegal blow and the playing field was then levelled.
‘Two points for the knockdown, two points he took away. Whoever goes out and wins that round, wins that round. Trying to keep it fair and keep it going.’
Asked if two points was an excessive penalty, Reiss continued: ‘Well I warned him in the dressing room, both fighters, to stay off the back of the head and stay off the kidney.
‘And like I said there’s no such punch in boxing where you punch straight down and that was initially and it had effect cos it was a wounded fighter. And again, to level the playing field, I thought two points would be best, get them back up and get them going.’
KSI felt aggrieved himself with some of Reiss’ decision, not scoring what he felt was a knockdown on Paul, but the veteran ref says it was not a clean blow.
He added: ‘JJ, or KSI, was throwing some very wide, looping punches and I felt the shot that hit [Logan] hit him a little bit behind the ear and Logan went to hold him and KSI stepped back and he almost like pulled him down, so it wasn’t a clean knockdown so I just waved it off. He got up okay and we were good to go.’
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