A BOXING ref had to be stretchered from the ring after being KO’d by a punch to his chest by one of the two combatants.
Mexican Jesus Granados was hurt after finding himself on the wrong end of a right hook as he stepped too close to the fighters.
Irvin Turrubiartes hit the ref near his solar plexus instead of his intended target Gerardo Valenzuela with ten seconds to go before the end of the third round.
Winded Granados initially stayed on his feet despite his obvious discomfort but moments later sought medical attention.
He ended up on his back by the side of the ring as concerned doctors unbuttoned his shirt and took a good look at him.
A replacement ref ended up having to take over after his injured colleague was removed on a stretcher.
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Turrubiartes went on to show the power of his punches with a a seventh-round KO win.
After the contest ended it was confirmed Granados had recovered after treatment in a first aid room and didn’t need to be taken to hospital.
Footage of the moment he was hit showed the boxer who accidentally punched him lifting his left glove up to apologise before continuing to pummel his opponent.
He went down on his knees the moment the bell sounded seconds later as a TV commentator said: “The referee is obviously hurt from the right hook he received.”
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A colleague, confused by the speed of the punch, said he doubted the punch could be to blame before a slow-motion replay confirmed its intensity and left viewers in no doubt it was obviously the cause of his discomfort.
The bizarre incident happened during a featherweight fight in the northern Mexican city of Chihuahua broadcast live at the weekend on TV Azteca.
Mike Tyson accidentally landed a powerful left hook on British ref John Coyle in June 2000 as he hammered away at Lou Savarese.
On New Year’s Day Ukrainian heavyweight boxer Iago Kiladze punched the referee Samuel Burgos after he was stopped in defeat during his encounter with Viktor Faust at a US casino.