When the towel was thrown into the ring in the eighth round, everyone thought it was over and began filing out.
But wait, referee Arthur Mercante Jr. said not so fast. He said he didn't know where the towel came from. But even if he did, he wouldn't have stopped the action. "There was no need to stop the fight," Mercante said. "They were in the middle of a great fight."
Mercante said the people came to see a good fight. And they were in the middle of a "great exchange".
Under New York State athletic commission rules, only a referee can stop a fight. A doctor can't and a corner can't. But referees generally listen to the advice of the doctor and corner.
"I felt I did the right thing to let it continue," he added.
More importantly, he wanted to see a great fight go on, especially in light of Foreman's toughness. "If you notice, I called time. They had an extra minute to rest," Mercantes said. "I went over to Yuri, suck it up kid. He went down and got back up."
For more details on the fight, check out Greg Logan's story on Newsday.com on the following link. http://www.newsday.com/sports/boxing/cotto-stops-injured-foreman-in-ninth-round-to-take-title-1.1985372