There is a lot of attention being given to the stoppage in tonight's Canelo Alvarez vs Alfredo Angulo Showtime pay-per-view main event, with referee Tony Weeks' decision to halt the action being called into question by some, and considered totally justified and understandable by others.
If you didn't see it, or want to see it again, here's the stoppage:
(GIF courtesy Zombie Prophet)
When the fight was called off, fans in the arena booed heavily, and Angulo (22-4, 18 KO) told Weeks after the fight that he respected him as a referee, but he made a bad call tonight. Alvarez (43-1-1, 31 KO) wasn't exactly thrilled with the decision, either, perhaps because it made him the object of the boos, and could overshadow what was a great performance, as he totally battered Angulo.
But I think the thing to remember is this: the stoppage wasn't due to the one punch. There was an absurd amount of punishment absorbed by Angulo, and Weeks did what he felt was the right thing by protecting the fighter from himself.
Personally, I think those that want to see greater violence than this might be watching the wrong sport. There are measures in place to keep people from getting seriously injured or even killed. Boxing is violent, but it's also supposed to be a sport. Fighters get beaten up and they take risks and all of that, which is the nature of the business. But how badly does someone need to be physically beaten before the referee should step in? If this had gone on and something tragic had happened, Weeks would be catching hell for not stopping a one-sided demolition. He would also have it on his conscience that he could have stepped in and didn't.
I think it's a more complex issue than bloodlust or even "wanting to see a finish," which is a nice way of describing bloodlust, really. Weeks had an assignment and he carried it out. Angulo was being destroyed tonight, and he wasn't reacting that well to the shots anymore, consistently getting stunned with his head snapping back. There's no doubt Alfredo Angulo wanted to finish the fight and go out on his shield. But there are rules and regulations and part of a referee's job is to protect the fighters, even when they don't want to be protected. That's boxing. It's not Bloodsport out there.