Even if one has not been able to catch the cruiserweight war between Denis Lebedev and Guillermo Jones, all one has to do is place eyes on a picture of Lebedev when the fight was finally stopped to see the destruction. As someone on Twitter put it (I can't remember who), Lebedev's face was halfway home to looking like an extra in Star Trek. Criticism from fans and media alike was very heavy on Lebedev's corner for not stopping the fight, namely head trainer Kostya Tszyu.
Tszyu was once a great junior welterweight, a very respectable man to have in one's corner. However, he seemed incredibly reluctant to pull the trigger and remove his fighter from a bout in which he was sustaining irreversible damage.
Here is what Tszyu had to say in response to criticism, via Boxing Scene:
"I thought a lot about (stopping the fight). If you remember in the tenth round Jones fell to the mat and he barely got up. It's like running a ten-cross race over 500 meters and before the finish line you fall and then try to get up - it is a huge burden. At that moment, it nearly became a turning point. In boxing, every second something can change, but it turned out that in the eleventh round a knockout happened, although it could have been the opposite," Tsyzyu said.
Tszyu's rationale seems pretty weak here. Yes, Jones fell (though it looked like Lebedev slammed him) but Lebedev's eye was already in ruins by that point. And even if Lebedev somehow would have been able to pull out a knockout in one of the last two rounds, would it have been worth it to sacrifice his long-term vision? This is when a trainer needs to realize they have a man too brave for his own good and need to know when to pull the plug. For every Victor Ortiz, there is another guy like Lebedev. I'm not ripping Ortiz here, he had a legitimately broken jaw against Josesito Lopez and went through hell against Marcos Maidana. But not every professional fighter is going to acknowledge that he has had enough for that night. A trainer has to have a gauge for that. Otherwise, he could be responsible for a real tragedy in the future.