Referee Jack Reiss: “Not Waving Off Fury Was My Best Decision!”

Jack Reiss Praises Himself For Allowing Tyson Fury To Continue!

Referee Jack Reiss, Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder
Referee Jack Reiss declares the draw in Wilder v Fury in 2018

Jack Reiss: My Best Decision Ever In Boxing!

We have arrived at the fight week for Deontay Wilder v Tyson Fury 2. Consequently, it’s unavoidable to discuss the events that took place in the first bout. After twelve rounds of back-and-forth action, the prizefight ended in a highly debated three-way draw.

In the aftermath, Fury fans swore to the heavens that the Gypsy King boxed Wilder’s ears off.

At the same time, Wilder backers passionately argued that by setting the pace, being the ring general and putting Fury down twice,he did more than enough to claim the victory. Yet, outside of the decision itself, for many, one of the most controversial aspects of the first fight was when referee Jack Reiss allowed Fury to continue on after the second knock down.


In the first minute of round 12, Wilder put Fury on his back with a straight right and left hook. In the opinion of the Bronze Bomber’s most ardent fans, the bout should have been waved off immediately. And honestly speaking, there are a number of officials who would have done just that.

However, Reiss was not one of them!

Instead, Jack Reiss gave Fury the benefit of the doubt and began administering the ten count. To the Gypsy King’s credit, he beat the count. Plus, beyond that, he got up and ended the period in marvelous fashion.

Regardless though, there are still numerous fans that remain livid that fight was not halted.


For Reiss the now iconic moment in boxing history was one of his finest hours in the ring. Not only does he not regret his decision, he feels that it was his single best action as a professional referee, as he explained to BT Sport Boxing.

“Obviously, what happened in that twelfth round, that he got up and the way he responded, the way that he did demonstrate that this decision that I made was the correct. So I’m really happy. I think that it was the best decision that I’ve ever made in a boxing match to this date for myself anyway.

“It’s a multitude of reasons on why I didn’t think it was over at that time. I want to just let everybody know that I was a fireman for thirty-one years with the Los Angeles Fire Department. I was an EMT; emergency medical technician and I was the captain on a paramedic engine for twenty years.

“So we went to trauma all the time. Car accidents, shootings, stabbings, beatings. I’m very familiar with trauma. What I’m really comfortable with is reading body language.

“When I picked up the count, one of the things that I instinctively noticed was that Tyson’s right foot was up and it wasn’t caught under his left foot. He was holding it up on his own, which told me he is probably not out if he’s holding his foot up. I was always taught not to count a champion out, give them the benefit of the doubt.

“His eyes weren’t totally open, but when I got to five, he popped his eyes wide open. So I thought, ‘he’s back!’ And then when I started counting, I was thinking I don’t know if he’s going to beat the count, but we’ll see!

“I just kept counting and he was up by nine.”


Naturally, it’s easy to see why Wilder supporters would have wanted the contest waived off. However, as Reiss said himself, given how well Fury handled himself once getting up off the canvas, it’s rather foolish to say that he was finished at that point. Thankfully for all parties concerned, the time for debate, wondering and hypothesizing is just about at an end.

On February 22, the two big men will slide in the ring with one another once more. Finally, we can all receive the definitive answer to who is the better man once and for all! Personally, I can’t wait!

By: Bakari Simpson

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Bakari is a Senior Writer for Visit to view more of his literary work.