World champion Josh Taylor knocked out Apinun Khongsong in an unbelievable first spherical to defend his WBA and IBF mild welterweight titles.
The Scot, 29, struck the Thailand fighter with a left-hand physique shot to ship the undefeated 24-year-old crumpling to the canvas. Khongsong was finally taken by stretcher from ringside in London’s York Hall.
Taylor now strikes nearer to a battle with WBO and WBC title holder Jose Ramirez on his quest to change into the undisputed world champion.
“I felt it [the punch] sinking in straight away,” he advised BT Sport.
“I did not comprehend it had damage him to that extent till I noticed him on the ground.
“He [Khongsong] was the heaviest puncher I’ve ever been in with. I might really feel the load of his energy. That switched me on to take my time and be affected person.
“It was a great shot but I’d like to have shown what we’ve been working on in the gym. But you don’t get paid overtime. I can go and get a pint and a pizza.”
It took simply two minutes and 41 seconds for the competition to be over, with Taylor’s fierce hook to the intestine the primary actual blow landed by the Prestonpans fighter.
Instead, it was the largely unknown however undefeated IBF necessary challenger who began on the entrance foot.
Both males got here into the bout unscathed after 16 fights, with Khongsong – 13 knockouts to his title – combating exterior of Asia for the primary time. With no partisan crowd there to cheer on Taylor, there was an air of the unknown as to what problem he would face.
The early exchanges recommended it might be a tough one. The man from Bangkok appeared energetic, with Taylor pressured to be affected person as his opponent tried to take the initiative. However, it didn’t take lengthy for the world champion’s second to reach.
With his opponent in opposition to the ropes, his guard excessive and a proper hook lacking its goal, the Scot swung a thudding blow to the ribs. There was little delay as Khongsong slid to the ground.
The response from him was minimal as he writhed on the deck in the course of the depend, Taylor standing within the reverse nook, arms stretched out.
And as he ought to. His dream battle is now virtually inside touching distance. Ramirez, and a really iconic contest, might be subsequent.
“I want Jose Ramirez next, 100%,” he added. “He’s an excellent champion, hungry like myself, on the highest of his sport. I would like that battle now; I really feel I’ve obtained the beating of him.
“I’ve by no means ducked anybody, however to be sincere I’d relatively wait till the followers are again, a battle of that magnitude could be higher in entrance of a crowd.”