British boxer Frank Arnold suffered a sickening knockout loss after woeful corner work and refereeing left him unconscious.
The 23-year-old Hackney southpaw suffered a nightmare opener against Brayan Mairena but bravely avoided getting dropped, The Sun reported.
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Had he been the away fighter it is highly likely he would have been stopped on his feet within the first three minutes after taking a beating.
To his immense credit the super-feather somehow rallied in the second.
But he was dropped violently in the third – after losing his mouthguard – and should have been saved by his corner or ref Chas Coakley, when he barely made it to his feet by the count of nine.
Mairena’s trainer made it utterly clear to the referee that the one-sided battering should be stopped, but he was ignored.
In the interval before the fourth round, Arnold’s head was bowed and he looked in no fit state to continue.
But his corner sent him out again in the hope he could save his skin with an unlikely KO.
Instead the ruthless Nicaraguan veteran of almost 50 fights unloaded another skull-shuddering blow and sent Arnold worryingly to the canvas.
The knockdown thankfully happened in Mairena’s red corner where the rapid-acting medical staff were put close by and they leapt into action with an oxygen mask.
Fans feared the worst and a stretcher was rushed out to take Arnold away to hospital.
The staff outside the ring did a far better job than the people involved inside it, charged primarily with protecting the boxers.
Concerned ringside staff even began dismantling the rings corner post in case they needed a clearer path out of squared circle.
Thankfully there was a York Hall roar when Arnold – a 10 fight novice – regained consciousness.
Slowly the Londoner made it up to a chair and eventually his feet.
Groggily Arnold made his own way out of the ring and was taken to hospital for the standard checks and precautions.
Fans watching the fight were left outraged that it wasn’t stopped earlier.
One wrote on Twitter: “Never, ever in a million years should still be allowed to continue to be able to take that last KO shot. Should have been stopped. Ref is a shambles.”
Another said: “Shocking on behalf of both referee and coaching team.”
And a third wrote: “F*** me, thought the worst there, thank Christ he got up … awful viewing.”
The dismal corner and officiating work marred what was otherwise a great night of boxing.
Ellis Zorro edged fearless Dec Spelman on points in a cracker, kid prospect Royston Barney-Smith won inside 30 seconds and Denzel Bentley retained his middleweight British title with a four-round dismantling of courageous Marcus Morrison.
This story first appeared in The Sun and was republished with permission.