by Ivan Trembow
If you want to see for yourself whether the stoppage in the Nate Quarry-Pete Sell fight was legitimate or premature, I would recommend that everyone go back and look at the tape.

Go to the point at which they showed the instant replay from the angle where you can see Pete Sell’s eyes the whole time
(not the angle that switches to a reverse shot after Sell goes down). Watch carefully, and keep your eyes on Sell’s face.

He gets punched, he goes down… that alone doesn’t warrant stopping a fight. However, in the few seconds it takes Quarry to pounce on him on the ground, Sell’s face is completely blank, his eyes are rolled back in his head, and there is NO awareness that there’s a man right above him who is getting ready to punch him in the face. In those seconds, there is no awareness of anything in his eyes.

Anytime you see a fighter with that look in his eyes, and especially when that fighter is getting pummeled with haymakers or is about to be pummeled with haymakers, you have to make a split-second decision as a ref.

Sell was grasping on for dear life by the time the ref jumped on them, but the same can be said of the Gideon Ray vs. Mike Swick fight… should that fight have also not been stopped?

The difference, and what makes one stoppage initially appear to be BS while the other seems fair, is that Sell recovers pretty quickly once the punching stops, while Ray doesn’t. However, that really doesn’t make a difference.

In that split second, the ref does not have the benefit of knowing how quickly the semi-conscious fighter would recover if the punches stopped. If you see a fighter with his eyes rolled back in his head and a blank look on his face, and his opponent is unloading on him, you stop the fight.

If, as a matter of policy, you consistently let fights continue in that situation until the fighter in danger is completely unconscious, just so there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind, a certain percentage of those fighters will die, as in boxing.

I’m not suggesting for a minute that’s what would have happened to Pete Sell if the fight had been allowed to continue, since he did recover quickly once the punches stopped and didn’t appear to have suffered a concussion.

What I am saying is that in that situation, you have to stop the fight. Go back and look at the tape if you don’t believe me. I thought it was a BS stoppage as it happened, but that was because I couldn’t see Pete Sell’s eyes. If you look at Pete Sell’s eyes in the instant replay and see how
out of it he truly was, that changes everything.