Kubrat Pulev defeated Frank Mir in the first round of their Triad Combat Rules fight, but the ending made for very tough viewing.
Pulev had been out of action since last December, where he lost to Anthony Joshua in London after suffering a ninth-round knockout.
The fight took place at Global Life Field in Arlington, Texas and what happened to conclude the fight has left many fans stunned and furious with the referee.
The ending of the fight was shocking. Pulev was clearly better than Mir from the second the bell rang, and the Bulgarian’s shots eventually began to land, putting Mir in a tough situation.
After taking several heavy hits, Mir was clearly knocked out, but he remained on his feet. The referee Dan Miragliotta took an age to recognise Mir’s state and to call for the bell.
The events led to the commentator screaming: “He’s out on his feet! What is Miragliotta doing? He’s out on his feet! This one’s over!”
Miragliotta took close to 10 seconds to stop the fight after Mir was stunned. Luckily, Pulev noticed Mir’s state, and with the knowledge that he was in no danger of losing, he stood back and threw no further punches.
The controversial format, hosted by Triller, is known as Triad Combat. It sees a team of boxers face a team of mixed martial artists over two-minute rounds. Only punches are allowed, and the fight takes place in a triangular-shaped ring.
The rules were outlined by Fite TV: “All punches from all positions and angles which land on legal targets allowed in Triad Combat. This includes, but is not limited to: jabs, crosses, hooks, straights, uppercuts, bolo punches, back fists and hammer fists. All strikes involving kicks, knees, elbows, forearms, shoulders and head are illegal.”
Triller Fight Club co-founder Ryan Kavanaugh told Reuters: “UFC is an old sport now, the kids aren't watching it. The UFC isn't giving the 18 to 27-year-olds what they want to see. So we're hopefully bringing something forward that they do want to see. It's more exciting, it's faster-paced and better looking. It's shot like a movie or a video game, and it's surrounded by culture.”
Mir now has a 0-2 boxing record, whilst Pulev’s is now 29-2.
The heavyweight is looking to resume his career in professional boxing next year, with his promotor Ivaylo Gotzev telling Sky Sports: “We've been getting a lot of offers. Joe Joyce is looking for us.”News Now - Sport News