Leigh Wood was stopped by Mexican knockout artist Mauricio Lara to lose his WBA featherweight title.
Fighting in his hometown, Wood was dropped by a brutal left hook in the seventh round at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham.
He bravely got back to his feet to fight on, but his trainer Ben Davison immediately threw in the towel with his man in no position to continue – much to Wood’s disappointment.
Wood had been fighting with a cut by his left eye following an accidental clash of heads in the first round.
But he didn’t let the blood trickling down his face bother him as he showed grit and heart to force his opponent back.
Going into the second half of the fight, Wood looked to be in control of the bout, only to be floored by a counter hook to leave him sprawled across the canvas.
It is the second time that Lara has dispatched a British boxer in devastating fashion after blasting away Josh Warrington in February 2021.
Speaking on talkSPORT’s Fight Night, Adam Catterall lauded the performance of Wood, but praised the punch that won it.
He said: “For seven rounds, Leigh Wood was dog walking Mauricio Lara around Nottingham.
“And then Mauricio Lara has just landed the shot of a lifetime on his chin to knock him out.
“When I say knocked him out, the referee was prepared to throw Leigh Wood back into the fight, but Ben Davison threw in the towel because it was absolutely evident Leigh Wood was in no fit state to carry on.
“A shot out of the blue, Leigh Wood was comfortable in the fight, and then that big, powerful left hook landed on his whiskers and Mauricio Lara is the new WBA featherweight champion.
“A heartbreaking night for Leigh, an unbelievable fight, a brilliant way that he was playing through those rounds up until that point, but you’ve got to take your hat off to Lara because that is some finish.”
It is Wood’s first loss since being stopped by Jazza Dickens in 2020, and with the boxer having a rematch clause, it remains to be seen whether he invokes it.
“Congratulations to Mauricio Lara, he’s great fighter,” Wood told DAZN. “I made a mistake and paid for it.”
Lara’s former foe Warrington revealed at ringside that his rival spat towards him after his victory as he welcomed a trilogy bout after their rematch ended in a draw.
He said on DAZN: “He looked over to me and spat at me. It was just a bit pantomime.
“He wants to finish my career and I am happy to let him have the chance.”