Heavyweight boxer Iago Kiladze hit the referee Samuel Burgos after he stopped his encounter with Viktor Faust, but the official responded by simply laughing it off
Heavyweight boxer Iago Kiladze punched the referee after he was stopped in defeat during his encounter with Viktor Faust.
The Ukrainian heavyweight was facing Faust on the undercard of Luis Ortiz’s heavyweight victory over Charles Martin which headlined the bill in Florida.
Kiladze was part of an epic war with Faust with the pair having shared five knockdowns in the early stages of the contest including downing each other in the second period.
The referee Burgos stepped in to end the brutal bout with Kiladze looking as if he was off-balance due to damage sustained throughout.
With the crowd inside Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino booing, Kiladze reacted furiously and threw a punch which caught the referee during his animated protests.
The shot was partially blocked by the referee’s arm but inadvertently struck the referee on the chin due to the momentum of the strike.
“You cannot do this,” a commentator firmly shouted after Kiladze lashed out and threw the shot. “That’s going to cost him money, you can’t do that, you can’t get violent with the referee.”
Despite being initially surprised by the shot, the referee was left unscathed and stepped back away from Kiladze as his frustrated outburst continued.
After the bout the official remained composed about how the situation unfolded and was able to laugh off the incident dismissively despite the potential of a fine for Kiladze.
The referee defended the stoppage after the fight : “Look, this is a man’s game, he’s frustrated, but I stand by my decision in terms of waving off the fight,” the official was quoted as saying afterwards.
An early flurry for Kiladze began his downfall when he walked into a neat left hook which sent him tumbling to the canvas in the opening round.
Shortly after however he reacted with a slick counter that sent his opponent Faust on to the floor and seemingly away from the jaws of victory.
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Kiladze then scored a further knockdown which was the fourth of the contest, with Faust on the deck for just the second time in his career.
However he quickly clapped back with another neat overhand right shot that telegraphed the ending of the fight despite the Ukrainian star briefly rising to his feet.
The events that unfolded in the ring bewildered viewers and fans around the world who reacted in shock similarly to Burgos after the altercation.
Kliadze is a well-known heavyweight who has fought the likes of Efe Ajagba, Adam Kownacki and British star Joe Joyce during his career.
It was a night of knockdown action throughout with Ortiz and Martin engaging in an explosive duel during the night’s headline act.
Martin dropped the Cuban star twice in the opening five rounds but Ortiz showed some resilience and produced a rallying comeback to drop his opponent twice in the sixth period to end the fight.
Also on the card Frank Sanchez produced another comfortable performance against Christian Hammer to take the latest successful step on his heavyweight rise.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.