The nature of a stunning result can vary.

Buster Douglas knocking out Mike Tyson stunned the world. It may have stunned some neighboring ones too.

Other results can feel just as shocking to those watching, even if the magnitude of the event is eons smaller.  

Last November, South Africa’s IBF junior flyweight titlist Sivenathi Nontshinga (12-1, 9 KO) appeared on his way to bigger fights in a division where unified and lineal titlist Kenshiro Teraji appeared to be looking for more unification. Undefeated, if only in 12 fights, and just 24 years old, Nontshinga had already shown guts and resiliency in winning his belt against Hector Flores. Long limbed for the division, the future appeared bright. 

It still might be. We’ll find out more on Friday (DAZN, 8 PM EST).

Nothing is bright in the dark and what appeared to be a routine second title defense last year ended with Nontshinga’s lights out. A right hand over the top landed perfectly in round two and referee Sparkle Lee didn’t bother with finishing the count. Nontshinga was trying to sit up but it was only to see challenger Adrian Curiel (24-4-1, 5 KO) getting ready to collect what had been his belt. 

One-punch knockouts are nothing new in boxing. The fighters who deliver them with any regularity can be, often are, crowd favorites. Julian Jackson, Deontay Wilder, and Naseem Hamed will be drawing eyes to their highlight reels as long as there are ways to see them.

Fighters that no one expects to see deliver that sort of thunder? Those are stunning moments. 

Germany’s Sven Ottke won 34 fights (officially) as a professional, unifying two belts at super middleweight after three trips to the Olympics. In all those paid victories, only six ended inside the distance. Heavy hands were never his thing except for a particular moment when they were. 

Ottke stunned in a defense of the IBF belt against undefeated Anthony Mundine. 

One right hand behind the ear was all it took.

Coming from Ottke, it still has a “did I just see that” vibe.

Despite only having five career knockouts, Curiel can say for the second time in his career he is riding a two-fight knockout streak. Before Nontshinga, Curiel stopped a 9-2-1 Ivan Carrillo in just three rounds. Prior to that, Curiel hadn’t stopped anyone in almost twenty starts dating to 2017. 

The task for Nontshinga this weekend is to keep his feet, reverse the outcome, and retrack his young career. For Mexico’s 25-year old Curiel, the task is more than just defending the IBF belt. He is also given a chance to prove he is more than lightning in a bottle. 

Curiel is unbeaten (8-0-1) over his last nine fights and may be one of those fighters who take a minute to learn their craft and blossom. He could also be a guy who had one spectacular stunner before heading back into the pack.

This weekend, another one-punch knockout feels unlikely. If Curiel can simply win, that would be more than stunning enough.

Cliff’s Notes…

Josh Taylor-Jack Catterall II feels both late and appropriate for both men…Mauricio Lara will be back on the Curiel-Nontshinga and seeing how he continues to rebound from his loss to Leigh Wood is worth keeping an eye on. Lara, along with Wood, will add to junior lightweight this year…O’Shaquie Foster-Abraham Nova on ESPN+ on Friday could be a sleeper main event. Nova’s lone loss, a knockout versus Robeisy Ramirez, is no shame and he’s got some pop. Foster is riding two different, but compelling performances and could make a run in a junior lightweight division that is looking for a star…Pay attention to Bruce “Shu Shu” Carrington on the Foster undercard. Carrington has all the tools to be a featherweight player which makes him a potential future opponent for Naoya Inoue…Happy Valentine’s Day to all the readers out there. If you’re not sure about anyone else, know that we love ya’ and no one needs to send flowers to BoxingScene.        

Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, a member of the International Boxing Research Organization, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at