BOXING fans slammed the referee for not stopping Vasyl Lomachenko’s savage four round beatdown against Anthony Crolla earlier.
Manchester’s Crolla, 32, travelled to LA’s Staples Center in search of a miracle as he challenged for Lomachenko’s WBA and WBO lightweight titles.
But from the word go it was all one way traffic, with Loma, 31, amazingly scoring two stoppages within the fight.
In round three with Crolla helpless against the ropes Ukraine’s former amateur standout teed off on the challenger, who could do nothing but withstand the relentless combinations.
Referee Jack Reiss – who gained widespread praise in December for allowing Tyson Fury to fight on after a 12th round flooring against Deontay Wilder – this time should have called a halt to the fight.
Reiss did intervene, but gave a standing count as he believed the ropes was the only thing keeping Crolla up.
Thinking the fight was over Lomachenko then ran to the corner and began to celebrate as Crolla was given an incredible lifeline after he survived the eight-count.
It mattered not, however, as the champion ended the fight in the very next stanza flattening Crolla with a perfect right-hook.
Despite the devastating finish, boxing fans were still left criticising the ref for not stopping the fight a round earlier and preventing the savage KO.
One said: “Think the ref should of stopped that when lomachenko threw 22 unanswered punches in the 3rd. What a performance tho by the way.”
Another said: “The worst thing is that when Crolla was face down, eyes closed in the next round, the ref was still counting initially. That’s a stupid thing to do. He could have died, he already had a cracked up skull.”
One commented: “Should’ve stopped it..crolla took unnecessary punishment the next round..”
Another commented: “It was a knockout. Crolla took unnecessary damage in the fourth.”
Most Read in Boxing
After winning the bout inside four rounds Loma called out current WBC lightweight champ Mikey Garcia – who last month stepped up to welterweight and got battered by Errol Spence Jr.
Lomachenko said: “I want to fight with Mikey Garcia, but we’ll see. I don’t know.
“I stay at 135 as long as it’s possible, and I want to unify all titles.”