Ricardo Torres took control immediately after the opening bell in his rematch with Kendall Holt on July 5, 2008 in Las Vegas.
The Colombian slugger, as aggressive as ever, landed a big overhand right only 12 seconds into the fight and put Holt flat on his back, giving notice that he planned to go home early with his WBO junior welterweight title intact.
Holt bounced back up quickly and, after referee Jay Nady was convinced he was OK, the action resumed. Torres tore into his opponent, trying to end it right there, but Holt held his ground and returned punches.
Then Torres unloaded a flurry of punches, punctuated with a left to the head that forced Holt to touch the canvas with both gloves 32 seconds into the fight. It was knockdown No. 2.
Again, Nady asked Holt whether he was OK and the fighter nodded yes. Still, it appeared likely that this fight would end the same way as their wild, controversial first meeting, in which Holt was KO’d in the 11th round.
Holt had different ideas.
The slick Paterson, N.J., fighter (25-2, 13 knockouts) isn’t nearly as big a puncher as Torres (32-2, 28 KOs) but proved dramatically that one can score a knockout if he uses his head – literally.
After Holt arose from the second knockdown, the fighters were exchanging punches near one corner when Torres’ head jerked backward and he was sent reeling – the apparent result of an accidental head butt.
Suddenly, Torres was hurt and vulnerable. And Holt took advantage, landing a perfect right to Torres exposed chin that knocked the Colombian out cold.
He sat awkwardly and utterly still on the lowest rope, his head hanging, when Nady signaled the end of the epic fight only 61 seconds after the opening bell. In the end, Torres lay flat on his back longer than the fight lasted.
Meanwhile, when Nady ended it, Holt reacted by jumping up and down on the ropes in the opposite corner to celebrate one of the most unusual — and breathtaking — victories in years.
Torres had to pull out of a third bout with Holt, scheduled for Dec. 13, because he was ill. However, they should try again to make the fight. If ever a rubber match was called for, this is it.