A vicious right hand from light heavyweight contender Joshua Buatsi knocked his foe Daniel Dos Santos out cold and had fans fearing for the Frenchman’s safety as he laid face down on the canvas in their WBA international clash.
In his 14th win of an unblemished career, Buatsi started strongly by giving Dos Santos a first taste of the ring floor via a chopping right hand in the second round.
Hanging on for dear life, the Frenchman, who was also unbeaten and boasts a touching story of turning his life around after a stretch in prison, wrestled Buatsi to the floor in the third.
With twenty seconds to spare in the fourth, the perfect right from Buatsi after a skillful feint knocked Dos Santos out cold in instant fashion, and to make matters worse, he even got another punch on the way down while collapsing sideways in a heap.
Full of class, Buatsi refused to celebrate his victory as a medical team and the officials waited on Dos Santos for what seemed an eternity.
Eventually coming round in tears, Dos Santos was consoled by his foe as fans online gave their thoughts on the incident.
“Gawd Damn!! Put some lemon pepper wings on this man’s soul and send him to heaven!!,” demanded one.
“He hit him so hard it sounded like a squeaky-toy,” said another.
“Never seen Tyson Fury do this,” it was quipped, in a nod to the WBC heavyweight king’s perceived lack of punching power.
Others were less impressed by Buatsi taking a second dig at Dos Santos when he was already clearly on his way out.
“I don’t think the second punch was necessary. This is very close to being an outright downright disqualification,” said one.
“The first time he sent him to the canvas he also hit him while he was on the ground, that second blow was unnecessary, totally inhuman,” chimed in a fellow critic.
“That second hit is why I can’t get into fighting sports,” started another more elaborate comment.
“I just can’t believe that a trained boxer can’t tell when he knocked someone out and still has to hit him again on the way down. Way worse in MMA.”
Buatsi fans preferred to instead focus on the concern he showed for his opposite number once he had gotten back on his feet, however.
“Buatsi is class act in and out of the ring. Haters hating on him just expose themselves as horrible human beings,” it was claimed.
“Buatsi is a top fighter but also a top human being. Respect. I hope we can see more from him soon!,” a supporter remarked elsewhere.
“I do hope he’s safe and healthy,” Buatsi stated during his post-fight interview.
“We’ve seen unknown opponents come and they’ve beaten guys, so I took him very serious.
“[He was] awkward for a few rounds, I just landed the shot at the right time.
“But most importantly I do hope he’s okay,” he concluded.
The win puts Buatsi closer to challenging Russian WBA ruler Dmitry Bivol for the regular crown or his compatriot Artur Beterbiev, who holds the IBA and WBC straps while American Joe Smith Jr boasts the WBO belt.
Eddie Hearn revealed at the conclusion of his latest bout that he plans to get Buatsi back in the ring on July 17 on American soil or a week or two later at home in Great Britain.
If Sky Sports pundit Johnny Nelson had his way, though, Buatsi would seriously consider relocating to the US to continue his relationship with legendary trainer Virgil Hunter, whose influence on the Londoner in his first fight has already borne fruit.
“I haven’t been home for weeks and weeks and weeks,” Buatsi stressed when asked on his plans moving forward.
“I look forward to having a week or so [at home]. I’ll be in England, whether we go back out to America to start camp again, or we start [in England] and finish it out there,” he said.
But according to Nelson, the man who oversaw unbeaten great Andre Ward’s legacy won’t have liked the sound of such remarks.
“I know Hunter won’t like that,” insisted Nelson.
“It’s hard for fighters to pack up and say: ‘This is my new home’.
“Hunter wants his home to be his fighters’ home so they live in the gym even without a fight coming up.
“Down the line, that may be a problem. It’s something they must address, work out, figure out,” Nelson went on.
“It depends how much Buatsi wants it, wants success, respects Hunter and his word.
“‘If I really want this, for five years I’m sticking with you!’,” he signed off, suggesting what Buatsi should tell his coach word-for-word.