Renowned former referee John McCarthy has given his take on the controversial stoppage in the heavyweight fight between Derrick Lewis and Sergei Pavlovich.
But unfortunately for “The Black Beast,” he didn’t improve on his recent record in “The Lone Star State,” with Russia’s Pavlovich securing a six-place rise up the heavyweight ladder thanks to a first-round TKO win in Dallas.
However, the result wasn’t without controversy, with many fighters, fans, and pundits claiming that Referee Dan Miragliotta stepped in to bring an end to the contest too soon.
The latest to share that sentiment is Miragliotta’s former colleague, “Big” John McCarthy.
McCarthy: Lewis/Pavlovich Stoppage Was Early
When discussing the much-debated stoppage in the main-card heavyweight clash, McCarthy judged that while Miragliotta had Lewis’ protection in mind, he stepped in too soon, especially considering the veteran heavyweight’s habit of going down ‘face down, ass up’ when he gets hit.
“I did not agree, you know. The stoppage, I thought it was early,” McCarthy said. “Because you know those guys going into the fight. It’s not like these are new, young guys. You know what Derrick Lewis does. You know that he has come back in fights where he has been hit and has gone down.
“And you know the way that he does go down. He doesn’t usually go to his butt. He tends to go towards (the ground), face-down, ass-up position, but he tries to fight his way through it. You’ve gotta give him that time,” McCarthy added. “But I know Dan was trying to protect him.” (h/t Sportskeeda MMA)
While a host of notable figures backed the early stoppage claim online, including Canadian journalist Ariel Helwani, many supported Miragliotta’s decision to end the fight as Lewis was sent to the ground. Welterweight contender Stephen Thompson suggested that the result would have been no different had “The Black Beast” been allowed more time to recover.
“I don’t think (it was early). I mean, referee, it could have gone either way,” Thompson said during an episode of his YouTube podcast. “He would have gotten finished. I mean, even if he would have carried on going, he would have gotten finished.”
Although many appeared infuriated by the stoppage, the split view among the fanbase would certainly suggest that it’s not as clear cut as some would like to think.
Which side of the debate are you on? Was the Derrick Lewis vs. Sergei Pavlovich fight stopped prematurely?