As reported earlier, Joseph Parker stopped Francois Botha in the second round of their heavyweight fight in Auckland on Thursday.
The New Zealand novice administered one of the heaviest beatings the South African veteran had suffered in a long career that included bouts against many of the best heavies in the world.
The White Buffalo, with his back against the ropes, stopped a solid right to the face and was battered until he went down, nearly unconscious. The referee did not even start counting as it seemed Botha was seriously hurt.
It was a sensational ending to the tournament at the Sky Arena, where the first round of the main bout followed the pattern that Botha’s supporters probably expected; cautious and slow.
But once the young Kiwi stunned Botha with the right he showed a complete lack of mercy for a man twice his age, and probably made sure Botha would not return to the ring in a hurry.
To many boxing enthusiasts it was a sad sight to see the crusty showman crumple to the floor, his knees folding onder his 116.5 kg, the old defiance in his eyes now gone as Parker kept throwing punches until his opponent was no langer standing.
It must also have been a terrible, terrifying sight for his son, who had just won his first professional fight. Seeing his father get beaten up like that, may make the youngster reconsider his future.
Botha, a former IBF heavyweight champion, came to New Zealand with a professional record of 48-9-3, with one no-contest and 28 knockouts. His tenth defeat was one of the worst.
His opponent, who was not even born when Botha knocked out Johan van Zyl in his pro debut in 1990, had won four of his five bouts inside the distance.
Earlier Botha’s son Marcel won his professional debut by beating Australian welterweight Jeremy Sebastian on points in the first fight of the night. The scores, and those of the other bouts, were not announced but the South African probably took three of the four rounds.
How far the youngster will go, depends entirely on how many hours he spends in the gym, on the road and in sparring sessions during the next two years or so.
Sapa reports that Botha later said he would be back. "He took me by surprise," he added "He has a great future if he is handled properly."
Botha’s supporters who protested vehemently to suggestions that he should have retired after his fight against Sonny Bill in Brisbane last February were quiet on social media platforms this time. Several who watched the fight live on SuperSport immediately advised him to pack it in.