Mark Hunt’s shock TKO upset over a stunned Sonny Bill Williams has led to calls in the US for the “Super Samoan” to fight Jake Paul.
Hunt’s fourth-round knockout of the cross-code superstar shocked Williams and his camp as the MMA legend’s last fight went to script.
Hunt was a major underdog given he is 48 years old and lost to Paul Gallen back in 2020.
Williams, who is 11 years younger, had never been beaten and was 9-0 in his professional boxing career, last beating Barry Hall back in March.
The former All Black sat slumped in his chair in the corner after the shock result with his team solemnly unwrapping his gloves as Williams absorbed what had just happened.
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Just a few weeks ago Hunt weighed in at 157kg, but he lost 30kgs in camp wanting to give himself the best shot at going out a winner after a highly successful career mostly in MMA.
Williams had never fought anyone as seasoned as Hunt, who had shared the cage with greats like Brock Lesnar, Alistair Overeem and Frank Mir.
But things did not go to plan for Hunt at the beginning, with most believing Williams would close it out on points.
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After three rounds the MMA legend had landed just 18 of his 73 thrown punches, in comparison to Williams’ 38 of 105.
But the momentum swung Hunt’s way in the fourth round after Williams was caught with a counter punch that changed everything. The cross-code great moved straight forward and lined up his right, leaving his head high after throwing the punch.
Hunt caught him on the way in, dislodging Williams’ mouth guard and leaving him dazed. Hunt smelt blood from that point and finished the job shortly after, confirming his retirement plans in the ring.
“I don’t know if it’s his chin, I might just have a lot of power. That’s heavyweight stuff, I carry a lot of weight,” Hunt said.
“Heavyweights pack a lot of power, a shot like that could have ended anyone.”
Williams conceded he could follow Hunt into retirement.
“At this stage I’m not even sure if I’ll fight again. That could be it for me, too,” Williams said.
“We’ll see what unfolds over the next few weeks.”
Asked if he was genuinely considering retirement, Williams replied: “Yeah, for sure. I’m 37, I’ve always said that if I cop a lot of punishment, that could be it.
“I wasn’t trying to be the heavyweight champion of the world, I was just out there doing my best. Mark read my punches, they were obviously a bit too telegraphed, he caught me and that was it… we’ll see what the future holds.
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“If this is the end of my sporting career, it’s been a good one.”
The TKO result made some waves online and among MMA fans in the US, who hailed “The KFC King” for his efforts.
There were even some who called for social media performer Jake Paul to get in the ring with Hunt, following his recent win over 47-year-old MMA legend Anderson Silva. Even though Hunt said this fight was his last, such a proposal would surely prick his ears given Paul’s supposed pulling power. Funnily enough, Paul named Williams as a possible opponent earlier this year.
A fight with Paul might be difficult to make considering Hunt lost 30kg to get down to 127kg for his fight with Williams and Paul fought at cruiserweight and tipped the scales at 84kg for his fight with Silva.
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