A lot of things could have happened tonight in Lowell, Massachusetts, where local favorite Danny O'Connor was looking to get revenge against Gabriel "Tito" Bracero for a 2011 loss, but nobody expected a KO of the Year candidate from this fight between two relatively light punchers. 41 seconds into the fight, that's exactly what we got.
Bracero (24-2, 5 KO) scored his first stoppage win since 2012 with a brutal, scintillating, one-punch KO of O'Connor (26-3, 10 KO) tonight on NBC Sports Network. If you missed the fight, you should certainly take a look at this punch, because it is truly vicious, catching O'Connor both leaning into the blow and just totally unaware of its imminent arrival.
Here's the KO in real time:
And here are some slow motion replays from different angles:
O'Connor, 30, was down for a minute or two after referee Arthur Mercante Jr waived the count and called in the ring physicians. This was a scary moment, with O'Connor's head smacking off the canvas as he hit the deck. The veteran fighter was out cold from the show, and the landing just made things worse. But Danny got up and appeared to be OK afterward, communicating with physicians and his trainer, as well as Bracero, who was obviously very concerned about his opponent's wellbeing, as was everyone watching.
Is this the leader for KO of the Year?