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07th Jun 2018

Tony Bellew not happy with stoppage in Commonwealth featherweight title fight

He claims the referee panicked

Darragh Murphy

Controversy surrounded the finish as a new Commonwealth featherweight champion was crowned on Wednesday night.

On Eddie Hearn’s JD NXTGEN card, Ryan Doyle upset the odds to prise the title away from Reece Bellotti but plenty of fight fans were unhappy with the stoppage.

After four rounds of incredible action, a right hook to Bellotti’s temple in the fifth clearly disturbed the defending champion’s equilibrium and the he was sent to the canvas in the subsequent flurry from Doyle.

No sooner had Bellotti’s backside hit the mat when referee Howard Foster waved the contest off, not allowing the previously undefeated fighter the chance to return to his feet.

The referee stoppage didn’t sit well with esteemed coach Dave Coldwell, who was on commentary duty for Sky Sports, as he suggested that a champion should be given the opportunity to answer a count.

Coldwell’s most famous fighter, Tony Bellew, echoed those sentiments as he took to Twitter to criticise the referee.

Bellew likened the early stoppage to the ending of Carl Froch’s first victory over George Groves in 2013, when he dived in at one of the first signs of danger to save Groves from further damage.

A rematch seems like the fairest outcome and Bellotti was quick to request one, whilst offering his congratulations to Doyle for the win.