Liam Wilson almost pulled off the unthinkable.
The Aussie entered his world title fight against Emanuel Navarrete as the heavy underdog and almost walked out with the belt.
Watch Boxing Live & On-Demand on Kayo. Selected international fights, classic bouts and more. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >
Many pundits expected the Mexican two-division champion to make light work of the man from Down Under, but Wilson showed why he’s going to be a force in the ring in years to come.
Despite his supremely impressive showing, it was Navarrete who emerged victorious with a TKO victory in the ninth round.
But it was earlier in the fight when the boxing world was left in disbelief as Wilson almost pulled off an upset for the ages.
As both men felt each other out through the opening three rounds, the action picked up in the fourth as Navarrete looked to put the challenger away.
After biding his time, the Aussie struck in the latter stages of the round and rocked the champ before sending him crashing to the canvas. The first time in his 40-fight career he’s been knocked down.
A murderous left hook landed clean on the chin of the Mexican champion and had him on wobbly legs before the Aussie unloaded a barrage that put him down.
But it was after the referee’s count when controversy erupted as Navarrete was given an extended timeframe to regain his composure and he brought himself even more time by fumbling around with his mouthguard.
Navarrete turned to his corner and spat his mouthguard out as the count hit seven, the referee put the mouthguard back in only for the Mexican to fumble it around and buy himself more time.
Wilson sent him crashing to the canvas with 48 seconds on the clock, but the delays saw only 20 seconds left in the round for Wilson to go to work.
“I thought I won the fight,” Wilson said. “I thought the count was about 20 seconds but we will review it and see what happens.”
Watch the controversial moment unfold in the video player above
Fox Sports’ Ben Damon tweeted after the fight the controversial moment in the fourth round will be protested.
“No Limit will file an official protest over the time Emanuel Navarrete had to recover from the knockdown in round 4,” Damon wrote.
CODE Sports’ Lachlan McKirdy wrote: “WILSON!! Gets the big knockdown in round four. Ref took so long to restart that round.”
ESPN’s Mike Coppinger wrote: “Emanuel Navarrete barely makes it out of the round with some A-side treatment from the ref, who allowed him several extra seconds to recover while he played with his mouthpiece. Unbelievable.”
The champ eventually got his legs back under him and began to pour the pressure back on the Aussie in the sixth round.
But in the final thirty seconds it was the Aussie who again produced the hellacious shot that rocked the champ.
A left hook opened the Mexican up but this time it was a monstrous right hand that landed flush on the chin.
Unfortunately the champ’s pressure proved too much for Wilson to handle as he peppered the Aussie with blows from every angle.
A right hand straight down the barrel sent Wilson crashing to the canvas in the opening moments of the ninth round before the referee stepped in and waved it off with around a minute to go in the round.
“This tested me. I needed to know that I could get off the canvas and come back to win the fight. Now I know that I’m capable of doing that and I was able to do it in great fashion,” Navarrete said after the fight.