22/05/2024

Mark Hunt delivering the final knockout blow of his career to Sonny Bill Williams. Image: @corleone003/ Twitter

Against all the odds, combat sports icon Mark Hunt (1-2-1, 1KO in Boxing) defeated Sonny Bill Williams (9-1, 4KO) by a stunning TKO in the fourth round to put the perfect end to his fighting career.

After losing to Paul Gallen (14-2-1, 8KO) back in December 2020, many Australians thought we had seen the last of the Super Samoan in combat sports.

When it was announced that he would be matched up against Williams, there was concern if the 48-year-old could hang with a much taller and more athletic man.

Williams was looking to build his boxing resume after being inactive for the better part of six years. After picking up two victories, including a highlight reel knockout over former AFL veteran Barry Hall, he was looking to add Hunt to his list.

With height, youth, and speed in Williams’ corner, many people thought that Hunt only had a puncher’s chance to win.

But if there’s one thing that has been a major part of Mark Hunt’s career, it’s overcoming the odds.

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The fight started with the shorter Hunt trying to press the action, Williams did an excellent job of controlling the range to avoid getting hit by his opponent’s power punches.

When it looked like the former UFC veteran had entered into close range, Sonny maneuvered him into the ropes before firing off a flurry of punches, none of which seemed to phase Hunt.

Hunt proceeded to chase his opponent before being hit with another flurry to end the round.

Williams continued his work at range in round two as he was having a lot of success with his straight punches.

Hunt on the other hand was throwing hard hooks to the body to open up Williams’ head.

Williams seemed to have the fight in control in the third round having success with the jab with Hunt chasing the Rugby Superstar against the ropes.

With the commentators pointing out that Hunt was starting to slow down and the fact that Williams had outlasted Hunt by a large margin in every round, it looked like the fight was slipping away from the Super Samoan, but this wasn’t the case.

Hunt came into the fourth round super aggressively and was starting to connect more frequently with his power shots.

Midway into the round Hunt connected with a beautiful right hand that knocked Williams’ mouthpiece out, before sending his foe to the canvas with an overhand right.

After Williams got and put his mouthpiece back in, Hunt went for the kill.

After a flurry of hard shots from Hunt which knocked Williams out on his feet, the referee stepped in to stop the fight to give Hunt the stoppage victory.

In his post-fight interview, Mark Hunt confirmed his retirement before thanking his fans for his support.

“I’m smiling not because of the win over Sonny Bill, but because this is the last time I’m walking out to any sort of octagon, ring, or whatever,” Hunt said.

“I want to thank everyone, Australia, New Zealand, all the islands, thank you so much for all the help with everything.

“[I want to thank] my team that’s helped with this camp, it’s been hard, but as an old man goes, we roll on, that’s what we do.”

With a fairytale victory over Sonny Bill Williams, Mark Hunt closes the door on an amazing career spanning decades. Whatever he decides to pursue next, the Aussie and Kiwi faithful will be behind him for all the years he spent fighting for them.

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