Riddick Bowe retained his World Organisation heavyweight title after he knocked out his arch-rival, Jorge Luis Gonzalez, in the sixth round of their meeting in Las Vegas on Saturday.
Gonzalez was near to exhaustion when Bowe missed with a jab, and then threw a looping right that crashed into the side of the 6ft 7in Cuban's head, flooring him 1min 39sec into the round.
The referee, Mills Lane, counted Gonzalez out to bring the curtain down on Bowe's most impressive performance since he won the undisputed world heavyweight title from Evander Holyfield in 1992.
It was sweet revenge for Bowe. He had been knocked down and beaten by Gonzalez, who defected from Cuba four years ago, in a Pan-American Games amateur bout in 1987.
Gonzalez was then more experienced than Bowe. This time, though, Bowe dominated from the opening bell. "I'm looking forward to this one," the 27-year-old champion had said. "I can't wait to hear the big thud." The big thud duly came - thanks to a tremendous right hand - and it could be heard at ringside.
Bowe's left hand had pounded Gonzalez into a state of exhaustion and confusion. The 6ft 5in American landed 99 of 120 left jabs, several of which visibly shook the challenger.
Bowe had Gonzalez wobbling with a right hand just over a minute into the first round and caught him with a one-two combination 30 seconds later. Bowe took complete control in the fourth, when Gonzalez was sent reeling across the ring by two powerful lefts and started bleeding from the mouth.
Bowe had lost his undisputed crown in a rematch against Holyfield in 1993, but won the WBO title in March by defeating Britain's Herbie Hide. The champion collected pounds 650,000, with Gonzalez earning some pounds 200,000.Reuse content