US boxing referee Arthur Mercante Jr. was nearly knocked out during a super-middleweight unification fight in New York on Sunday, after accidentally taking a punch that Sweden’s Badou Jack had intended for his British rival, James DeGale.
The blow was dealt at the end of the fifth round, when WBC champion Jack launched a powerful left hook that was dodged by IBF title holder DeGale.
Unfortunately, it was the ref, who took the full force of the blow right on the chin.
Mercante was shaken and nearly collapsed in the ring, but was caught by the Swedish boxer and returned to his feet.
The referee than asked for some water and continued to perform his duties for the remaining seven rounds, despite having a bloody cheek.
The 12-round bout was ruled a draw by the judges, with Jack and DeGale retaining their champion’s belts.