Bernard Dunne was sensationally stopped after 86 seconds of the first round in his European Super-Bantamweight Championship bout by Spanish challenger Kiko 'La Sensacion' Martinez at the Point Depot on Saturday night, writes Ed Leahy.
The Spaniard came flying at Dunne from the first bell and although Dunne was equally aggressive, it was Martinez who landed the opening blow, which put Dunne on the canvas within the first minute.
Dunne was straight up, gesturing that he had slipped, but the referee had already started counting and seconds later the Neilstown man went down again and this time he knew he was in trouble as he took the count and tried to compose himself.
The capacity crowd tried their best to get the champion through the barrage, but Martinez was in no mood to hang around as he came in and finished Dunne off with a string of excellent punches that left referee Terry O'Connor with no option other than to stop the contest, with Dunne in no condition to continue.
Dunne was visibly shaken as he got up to apologetically acknowledge the crowd and the new champion.
What was left of the crowd applauded the fallen hero and gave Martinez a well-deserved ovation.
The earlier than scheduled post-fight press conference revealed that there was a strong possibility of a re-match in Ireland some time in the future.
'Martinez may come back to box in Ireland. If that's against Bernard Dunne, then that can be arranged,' said the new champion's manager.
Earlier in the evening, there was better news for Irish fight fans as former Olympian Andy Lee maintained his impressive start to his professional career as he easily accounted for Belfast's Ciaran Healy.
The unbeaten Limerick southpaw knocked the wind out of Healy at the end of the fourth round with a ferocious body blow and the Belfast man didn't come out for the start of the fifth round.
Another Belfast fighter, Brian Magee, was also in action as he fought Tony 'Oakey Kokey' Oakey for the British Light-Heavyweight title – the first time a British title has been decided outside of the United Kingdom.
Magee was challenging for the title and got the verdict from one of the judges but the other two deemed the contest a draw, which meant that the title stayed with Oakey, who was nursing a cut eye from the early stages of the entertaining twelve-round fight, due to a majority draw decision.
Magee was picking the punches but Oakey was the more aggressive fighter and although the Belfast man landed more shots, the judges obviously didn't think he had done enough to deserve the title.
In the other bouts, there were wins for light-welterweight Paul McCloskey from Dungiven, Derry, who easily out-boxed Italian Alfredo Di Feto and middleweight Matthew Macklin from Birmingham - of Irish parents - who was too good for Darren Rhodes from Leeds.
The two four-round fights were won by Belfast's welterweight Willie Thompson and light-welterweight Nicky Smedley from Sheffield who turned up in the ring in an Ireland football jersey.