SONNY BILL WILLIAMS was stunned by a brutal knockout from his 48-year-old opponent in a major upset.
The former New Zealand rugby star, 37, took on MMA legend Mark Hunt in Sydney on Saturday night.
But things did not go to plan for the 6ft 4ins Aucklander.
Midway through the fourth round of the eight-round heavyweight bout, tubby Hunt went on the attack.
Williams could do nothing to stop the barrage of heavy blows.
And he was left down on his knees as the referee waved it off.
That in turn ripped away his unbeaten professional boxing record after nine straight wins.
Williams started his pro boxing career way back in 2009 with the aim of using the combat sport to improve him as a rugby player.
But since retiring from rugby in early 2021, he has focused fully on the ring.
Williams beat Waikato Falefehi by a unanimous decision last year and then flattened former Aussie Rules ace Barry Hall twice in his first-round KO win in March.
Many expected him to maintain his winning streak against Hunt.
The All Blacks icon worked his way into the fight over the first three rounds, starting to take control and work out how to deal with Hunt’s short height but serious power.
However, it all went wrong in the fourth.
SBW – tipped to fight Jake Paul next – was floored by a big right hand from Hunt but got up in time to beat the count.
Hunt refused to back off, though, and unleashed a relentless series of punches, to which Williams had no response.
And with the ex-UFC veteran refusing to give in, it was all over in a staggering result.
Williams dropped to his knees, gutted and hurt, as Hunt celebrated wildly with his kids – before announcing he was done.
Hunt said: “I’m smiling not because of the win, but I’m smiling because this is the last time I walked into a ring of combat of any sorts.
“My first thought after was ‘s*** I want to do that again!’, but no [I won’t be back in the ring again].”
Williams added: “I would like to say it was an honour to share the ring with Mark Hunt tonight, the Super Samoan.
“I tried my best but it wasn’t good enough.
“Not too much positives to take from that, but to share the ring with a legend like Mark, it was special.
“Also to see a lot of Polynesian brothers get a chance on the card was special. Whatever happens happens.”
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