'Never seen that': Boxing world in shock over 'horrible' scenes

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·Sports Editor
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Lenin Castillo, pictured here being rushed to hospital after the brutal knockout.
Lenin Castillo was rushed to hospital after the brutal knockout. Image: Getty

The boxing world was left holding its breath on Saturday when Dominican fighter Lenin Castillo was rushed to hospital following a heavy knockout on the undercard of Anthony Joshua's bout against Oleksandr Usyk.

Castillo had to be taken out of the ring on a stretcher and rushed to hospital after being knocked out by Britain's Callum Smith in London.

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An overhand right from the Liverpool boxer midway through the second round struck Castillo flush on the temple and saw referee Bob Williams halt the contest as soon as the Dominican had hit the canvas.

Smith (28-1 with 20 knockouts) had jumped onto a rope following his victory before cutting short the celebrations when he realised just how severely he had hurt his opponent.

Castillo's legs appeared to be trembling as paramedics treated him promptly inside the ring at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The 33-year-old was attended to where he lay for several minutes before being carried away on a stretcher to sympathetic applause from spectators watching the light-heavyweight bout.

Promoter Eddie Hearn later revealed that Castillo was "responsive".

"A horrible brutal knockout. Castillo is responsive and on his way to hospital," Hearn tweeted.

This fight was the 31-year-old Smith's first at light-heavyweight, having suffered the lone defeat of his professional career in December last year when Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez convincingly deprived him of his World Boxing Association (WBA) super-middleweight title.

Usyk ends Anthony Joshua's heavyweight title reign

Meanwhile, Usyk has ended Joshua's second reign as world heavyweight champion with a unanimous points victory in front of a sell-out crowd.

Usyk became just the third man, after Evander Holyfield and David Haye, to win world titles at cruiserweight then heavyweight - achieving the feat in just his third fight since moving up to the blue riband weight class.

Six years after Wladimir Klitschko's long heavyweight reign ended, Ukraine has another champion in boxing's marquee division - as Usyk left Joshua's highly-anticipated 'Battle of Britain' against the unbeaten WBC champion Tyson Fury is in tatters.

Joshua could not cope with the smaller Usyk's superior speed and punching power, especially off his left, and ended the fight on Saturday evening slumped on the ropes after a flurry of punches by the mandatory challenger to his WBO belt.

Paramedics and medical staff, pictured here stretchering Lenin Castillo out of the arena.
Paramedics and medical staff stretcher Lenin Castillo out of the arena. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Usyk also took Joshua's WBA, IBF and IBO titles - the Briton has a rematch clause in the deal.

Scores of 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113 were just reward after a near-masterclass from the unbeaten Usyk.

Joshua, who was obligated to face WBO mandatory challenger Usyk after a bout against Fury fell through earlier this year, seemed accepting of the result when the scores came as he suffered just the second defeat of his career.

"This means a lot for me. The fight went the way I expected it to go. There were moments when Anthony pushed me hard but it was nothing special," Usyk told Sky Sports.

"I had no objective to knock him out because my corner pushed me not to do that. In the beginning, I tried to hit him hard but then I stuck to my job."

with agencies

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