South Aucklander Mose Auimatagi Jr has pulled off an extraordinary victory on the biggest stage here in Cardiff on the Anthony Joshua v Joseph Parker undercard.
Auimatagi Jr, born in New Zealand of Samoan descent like his former training partner Parker, climbed off the Principality canvas in the fifth round of his super middleweight bout against Welshman Morgan Jones to win by stoppage in the sixth and final round.
Auimatagi Jr, 22, had possibly won the first round but appeared to lose the next four. In the fifth he was caught by a right hand to the temple and he went down, beating the count at nine.
Such was the dominance by Jones, who had gone into this bout unbeaten, Auimatagi Jr's trainer Grant Arkle was tempted to throw in the towel, but, late in the sixth round he caught Jones flush with a right hand and set about finishing him with remarkable composure and accuracy.
"That was one out of the bag, I guess," Auimatagi Jr said afterwards of his initial overhand right which set up the finish.
"We had trouble sticking to our plan," Arkle said. "Our plan was to keep on his chest, that's what he did in the last round. But in the second round he said 'my legs have gone', which will be the jetlag.
"He trained hard and then when he got knocked down I was worried I might have to throw the towel in. But the ref got him up and he walked straight to him."
Auimatagi Jr, here for only six days before the fight, said he thought once he climbed off the canvas: "I got to kill him after this. I thank God that I got up and finished it."
In the final stages, Jones, up against the ropes, was hit to the body and head in an incredibly accurate 20-punch onslaught. At the finish he was facing the wrong way and looking despairingly at his corner before the referee stopped it, prompting emotional celebrations from Auimatagi Jr and his corner.
"The world's my oyster I guess," he said. "Hopefully some doors will open after this and I can improve on what went wrong tonight."
Parker's parents had just walked to their ringside seats when Auimatagi Jr scored his victory in the first fight of the night. It was, hopefully for them and Parker, a good omen for the main event.