Ron Lipton has been accused of trying to get Josue Vargas “killed” after failing to stop his fight with Dakota Linger, which saw the boxer absorb enormous amounts of damage
Fans believe a boxing referee was trying to get Josue Vargas “killed” after failing to stop his fight against Dakota Linger.
Linger was significant underdog in the fight with Vargas looking to make a successful return following his defeat to Josh Taylor’s upcoming opponent Jose Zepeda. However, things didn’t go to plan as Vargas was stopped within the opening two rounds at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theatre in New York.
The referee could have stepped in and ended the fight much sooner before Vargas took significant extra damage. Fans have criticised Lipton with one commenting: “This is exactly what I’m taking about in my last tweet. The refs were trying to help Puerto Rico fighter all night almost go this little dude killed. That one Dominican Victor guy got hit in the back of the head like five times and the ref never even gave a warning to other dude.”
Another added: “Why the f*** did the referee let this Josue Vargas/Dakota Linger fight go on?? Firstly he didn’t count the knockdown and secondly Vargas was clearly hurt. He was in no state to continue the fight, I am glad his corner threw the towel in, the referee should have stopped the fight.”
Undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney also had his say, writing: “This type of stuff will ruin a fighter forever.” Former world champion Jamel Herring agreed, saying: “Poor job ref. After the first count it should’ve been waved off for his own safety. Legs were clearly gone.”
Linger’s breakthrough initially came in the second round, when he landed a seismic overhand right that visibly rocked Vargas before piling on the pressure. He attempted to keep balance but tumbled to the canvas with the referee ruling the potential knockdown as a slip.
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Vargas was clearly hurt and stumbled desperately back to his feet before taking yet another barrage of heavy shots. This time, he was knocked through the ropes after heavy artillery continued to land from Linger. The referee opted to go to a count, acknowledging the knockdown, but really should have ended the one-sided proceedings by now.
The Puerto Rican continued to stumble and look completely out of character when rising to his feet before absorbing more damage as the action briefly continued. Panic began to spread around the arena before doctors and New York State Athletic Commission inspectors clambered onto the canvas to demand the fight was stopped.
Vargas was eventually given his respite after desperate pleading from others around the ring. He was handed the third defeat of his career and now faces a long journey back to any potential world title shot.