Boxing referee Tony Weeks found himself in the spotlight on Sunday after his decision to stop a fight between Vergil Ortiz Jr and Fredrick Lawson in the opening round.
Ortiz Jr turned the pressure up as Lawson retreated to the ropes and covered his head, while the shots didn’t appear to be landing any major damage Weeks had seen enough and stepped in to wave it off.
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The bout was all over with a tick under 30 seconds remaining on the clock in the first round, a move that left boxing fans watching on seeing red.
Lawson’s own team weren’t impressed with the stoppage as the backlash online came flooding in.
DAZN reporter Beto Duran noted that Weeks said he stopped the fight after seeing one of Lawson’s eyes roll back from a heavy shot.
Fans weren’t convinced however with the commentary crew also in disbelief when Weeks stepped in to stop the bout.
“And that is it?” One confused commentator said.
But now Weeks had made a startling admission behind why he called an early end to the fight with factors ahead of the bout coming into play.
In a since deleted social media post, Weeks alluded to the fact that Lawson had received clearance to fight despite scans detecting an aneurysm.
“What the public didn’t know that prior to the fight they did a brain scan on him, and it came up that he had an aneurysm and they did a test again and the same aneurysm came up,” Weeks wrote.
“Another doctor was brought in and gave him the same examination and he tested negative for the aneurysm, so they cleared him to fight.”
The wild claim from the referee was denied by Eric Gomez of Golden Boy Boxing promotions.
Ortiz Jr used his post-fight interview to call out Australian superstar Tim Tszyu for a WBO world title showdown.
“There’s a lot of fighters that I want to fight. I know people would love to see this fight, so Tim Tszyu, with all respect, I would love to fight you,” he said.
“I think you’re a hell of a fighter, and let’s make it happen. It’s all business. I’m a competitive person, I want to fight the best.”
Tszyu didn’t hesitate to respond as he said on social media he would gladly accept the bout with promoter Oscar De La Hoya suggesting the fight could take place Down Under.
“Tim Tszyu, anybody at 154 … Ortiz will even go to Australia and do it,” he said.
“I’ve got to do my homework and see who Tim’s promoter is, see what the situation is.
“We’ll take it from there. (But) whatever Team Vergil wants we’ll make happen. We’re behind him a thousand per cent.”
Tszyu’s promoter George Rose added: “I love it when top fighters want to travel to Australia, it’s the best country in the world. @OscarDeLaHoya. You and @VergilOrtiz are always welcome down under, @Tim_Tszyu stays ready, I’ll add this one to the list.”