There were crazy scenes on the undercard of Nikita Tszyu's fight against Ben Horn on Wednesday night when things threatened to boil over between Darragh Foley and Hunter Ioane.
“I just want to punch on," Ioane declared in the post-fight press conference, and that's exactly what he did.
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Foley and Ioane battled it out in a bloody war that left both fighters with claret streaming from their faces.
There were also blows traded after the bell on a number of occasions, with the fight having to be paused so Ioane could receive treatment on a huge head cut.
“This is gonna get messy,” Commentator Ben Damon said on Main Event.
“There’s going to be blood absolutely everywhere shortly.
“Things are going to get very bloody, very shortly.”
The referee eventually called off the fight in the fifth round, leaving Ioane’s seething.
Foley won via unanimous decision (40-35, 39-36), but Ioane looked as though he wanted to keep fighting as he approached Foley afterwards.
Ioane complained to the referee before having to be held back by members of his team.
“Disgraceful sportsmanship from Ioane at the boxing. Should not be invited back," Phil Rothfield of the Daily Telegraph tweeted.
Others were stunned by the gruesome scenes as both fighters were left covered in blood.
Disgraceful sportsmanship from Ioane at the boxing. Should not be invited back. @NoLimit_Boxing
— BUZZ ROTHFIELD (@BuzzRothfield) July 20, 2022
Foley-Ioane is about to become a bloodbath. Great performance from the Dubliner so far, levels showing, but it's getting hectic
— Kevin Byrne (@KevByrneBox) July 20, 2022
Vicious. Bloody. Violent.
Referee Will Soulos calls a halt to proceedings following excessive bleeding from Hunter Ioane.
It ends with Darragh Foley crowned as the winner via technical decision.#ozboxing #boxing pic.twitter.com/kEKaAhG9ng
— Aus-Boxing.com (@ausboxing) July 20, 2022
— bet365 AUS (@bet365_aus) July 20, 2022
Ioane can’t be on one of these cards again.
The ref could have taken more control, taken points off for punches thrown after the break or bell. The ref even got clocked himself and didn’t want to take a point off.
Foley too classy. Good comeback!
— MATT (@matty_mccabe1) July 20, 2022
What the hell am I watching🤣 Ioane and Foley street fighting #TszyuHorn
— Kristian Stojanov (@kris_stojanov) July 20, 2022
Nikita Tszyu beats Ben Horn in boxing slugfest
In the main event, Tszyu and Horn put on a remarkable and brutal six-round display.
Tszyu, the younger brother of Tim, entered the bout as the heavy favourite having stopped his last two opponents within eight minutes of ring time.
But showing his trademark family determination, Horn absorbed a whopping 93 body shots and lasted the six rounds in an epic and bloody bout.
Tszyu won by scores of 60-54, 60-54 and 59-55, but didn't have it all his way.
He was rocked in the final moments as the pair traded bombs in the ring, and Tsyzu was full of praise for his rival after the gruelling war.
“He’s tough. He’s as tough as they get. It was a pleasure to share the ring with him," Tszyu said in the ring post-fight.
When asked if his opponent shocked him, he said: “Most definitely. I was quite surprised! He can take a shot. All credit to him.”
Damon claimed the bout was "pure brutality", while boxing great Jeff Fenech claimed he was "shocked" by the nature of the fight.
Horn showed incredible heart during the bout, taking 62 body shots across the first four rounds.
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