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24 Aug, 2022 08:45

Sucker-punch KO sparks fierce boxing debate (VIDEO)

Ruben Torres delivered a devastating blow on Cristian Baez
Sucker-punch KO sparks fierce boxing debate (VIDEO)

Online boxing enthusiasts have debated whether a thunderous one-punch KO at the weekend was ethical or a show of poor sportsmanship. 

Meeting last weekend at California's Omega Products International Event Center, undefeated Ruben Torres took on Cristian Baez in a 10-round lightweight main event that played out before a sell-out crowd. 

In what was described as a "spectacular fight," both men took the action to one another and scored knockdowns in the second round. 

Baez then appeared to be taking over in the middle rounds through a barrage of left hooks to the head and body, yet Torres responded in round seven with a snappy knockdown from a straight right hand.

Baez then committed a fatal era by trying to touch gloves with his foe when he rose from the canvas, and Torres brutally knocked him out as a reward. 

"They always say protect yourself at all times," said Torres, repeating a popular mantra in the sweet science. "This is boxing and fighters like myself are always on the attack."

"The referee gave the signal to start fighting again and I came out guns blazing, especially after I knocked him down.

"I hit him with a left hook and that was it, the fight was over. I’m ready to move on to bigger and better fights as I march up the rankings," Torres concluded.

Though most punters had their eyes on Oleksandr Usyk's rematch win over Anthony Joshua, viral footage of the knockout spread on social media and divided them.

"There's two ways to practice any fighting system: for sport or for survival. Cheap shots aren't sporting, and the other boxer wasn't a threat to him at the time of the glove tap, so he's a disgrace in both regards," claimed one fan disapproving of Torres' quick thinking. 

From some corners, however, Baez found little sympathy.

"Number one rule is protect yourselves at all times. He failed to do so and paid the price. If it was dirty it’d be illegal," said one critic.

"No it’s not dirty, you are at war. Stop trying to hug and touch gloves," demanded another, though a far more popular response to this was: "You're not at war, you're in a sporting contest. If you want to go to war, join the army".

"Honestly the guy re-entered the ring like he [had] never been there before. Protect yourself at all times," it was reiterated.

Many recalled a similar incident in September 2011 when Victor Ortiz headbutted Floyd Mayweather.

Spotting his opportunity once Ortiz tried to hug him as an apology when the action resumed, Mayweather teed up another brutal knockout that also saw him snatch away the youngster's WBC strap.

"In the ring, you have to protect yourself at all times," Mayweather insisted to HBO interviewer Larry Merchant post-fight.

"After it happened, we touched gloves and we were back to fighting and then I threw the left hook and right hand after the break. You just gotta protect yourself at all times."

"Mayweather did less than that and the whole boxing world was after him," noted a Twitter onlooker regarding Torres.

"Wow, how things are different here.. [with the] commentary [team] not calling this guy all kinds of names."

With Torres now 19-0, his next opponents will be keen not to fall into the same trap and keep their eye on the ball throughout. If not, it could be lights out.