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The real Robert Byrd says he doesn’t tweet

Photo by David Spagnolo / Main Events
Fighters Network

Referee Robert Byrd says he doesn’t tweet or post to Instagram. And he hasn’t made any public remarks on the scoring of Andre Ward’s controversial win against Sergey Kovalev on Saturday.

“No, haven’t said anything,” Byrd told RingTV.com on Monday after a fake Twitter account claiming to be him popped up, causing a mini firestorm. “I don’t have a Twitter account. I don’t have a Facebook account. I don’t do any of that stuff.”

Byrd says a fake Twitter feed was set up before he refereed Saturday’s match between Ward and Kovalev at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on HBO PPV. Someone purporting to be Byrd claimed the scoring that had Ward winning a narrow decision by three scores of 114-113 was flawed. RingTV.com and a website for SB Nation erroneously reported the Twitter account was Byrd’s and took the comments on the feed to be his own when they weren’t.

“If the judges didn’t screw up u would never have mentioned the Referee,” the fake account tweeted out on Sunday in response to a user who was critical of Byrd’s performance. “I did my best.” He added, “Very tough fight to referee and score but I thought Sergey Kovalev won.”

The real Byrd says he never made any of those comments. “I never tweeted that I felt Kovalev won and the judges got it wrong,” he said in a phone interview. Byrd declined to say who he thought deserved victory or what he thought of the scoring. Two of the three judges had Ward winning the final six rounds. “I think he was fighting better on the inside,” Byrd said of why Ward was so effective in the second half of the fight.

Byrd backed the way he handled the bout in the face of criticism he should have taken greater initiative and made himself more of a presence, particularly in regard to allegations Ward was guilty of excessive holding. “If both boxers are close together and one boxer is throwing punches and landing punches, particularly to the body, you tell me which one of those fighters is holding?” Byrd said, alluding to the excellent body work that Ward did. Asked if he felt comfortable with the way he handled the fight, Byrd said, “Absolutely.”


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