A fiery fight on the Nikita Tszyu vs Ben Horn undercard threatened to boil over until it was eventually stopped because one of the boxers was bleeding too heavily.
There was no love lost between Darragh Foley and Hunter Ioane at Monday’s press conference, when Ioane declared: “I just want to punch on”.
And he proved he was a man of his word when he came out swinging from the opening bell in their welterweight fight at Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion on Wednesday night.
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The Irishman stood his ground as Ioane brashly threw everything he had at him.
The fight threatened to turn ugly when the two fighters continued jostling and trading barbs even after each round ended.
Ioane sustained a nasty gash on his temple from an accidental clash and it bled badly, forcing the fight to be paused several times as he was patched up.
“This is gonna get messy,” Main Event commentator Ben Damon said.
“There’s going to be blood absolutely everywhere shortly.
“Things are going to get very bloody, very shortly.”
The referee eventually called an end to the fight in the fifth round, much to Ioane’s disappointment.
Foley won the bout via unanimous decision (40-35, 39-36) but Ioane looked like he wanted to take things outside when he approached Foley in the ring afterwards.
Viewers were left stunned by the tense contest, with many unimpressed by Ioane’s antics.
The Daily Telegraph’s Phil Rothfield tweeted: “Disgraceful sportsmanship from Ioane at the boxing. Should not be invited back.”
Former WBO cruiserweight champion Enzo Maccarinelli tweeted: “Watching the tszyu vs horn undercard live from Australia ioane vs foley just went for it in the 1st rd no messing up f*** all foreplay.”
In the earlier fights on the main card, Joel Taylor and Jess Adams produced impressive stoppage wins, sending their opponents to the canvas.
Tszyu vs Horn full fight card
Nikita Tszyu defeated Ben Horn via unanimous decision
Sam Goodman defeated Juan Elorde via TKO
Justin Hodges defeated Jordan Simi via unanimous decision
Darragh Foley defeated Hunter Ioane via unanimous decision
Jessica Adams defeated Ashleigh Sims via TKO (second round)
Shanell Dargan defeated Jaala Tomat via majority decision (39-38, 39-37, 38-38)
Joel Taylor defeated Michael Hall via TKO (first round)