MACAU - “It’s my discretion!”
Thas was how referee Genaro Rodriguez brushed off questions on why he refused to stop the Manny Pacquiao-Chris Algieri fight while the American challenger was absorbing a lot of punishment in the late rounds.
Pacquiao himself had looked Rodriguez's way after decking Algieri twice and scoring at will in the last few rounds, seemingly pleading for a stoppage - a view shared by a lot of Filipino fans.
But the Puerto Rican official explained there was no reason to stop the fight since Algieri wasn't hurt enough - and was in fact fighting back.
“I just let them fight. It wasn’t worth the stoppage yet. Algieri was still fighting,” Rodriguez told Spin.ph on Sunday. “He was still able to fight well. Why will I stop the fight?”
Pacquiao’s wife, Jinkee, was among the fans at ringside who believed otherwise, saying there should have been a stoppage in that round to spare Algieri from further punishment.
“Oo, tingin ko nga tapos na 'yun dun. Kasi kung titignan mo si Algieri 'nun, nakakaawa na rin eh. Siguro fighter lang kasi siya kaya ayaw sumurender, ayaw masabi na duwag siya,” said Mrs. Pacquiao.
Told about the comments, Rodriguez retorted: “It’s my discretion to stop the fight, not the Filipinos'.
Here's the video of interview with Genaro Rodriguez:
Asked what would have prompted him to stop the fight, Rodriguez said the rules of officiating are clear on when it's time for a referee to step in.
“The man has to be hurt, and (in that case), he (Algieri) was not hurt,” he said.
However, it would have been different, Rodriguez said, had Algieri come in to fight and not merely to survive.
“Pacquiao was good, he was fast and very strong,” Rodriguez said. “Algieri was just moving out of his (Pacquiao’s) reach. If Algieri fought toe-to-toe, he would have been knocked out.
“Algieri was only there to survive the fight. He didn’t do enough to fight, he moves too much, he should have stopped and foght, 'coz whenever he does, he looks good,” he added.
And with the way Pacquiao handled the elusive Algieri, Rodriguez felt he is capable of handling the stylish Floyd Mayweather in the event the megafight finally happens.
“Sure, why not? I think he is ready for Mayweather, I think so!” Rodriguez said.