- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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When Kendall Holt and Ricardo Torres met for the first time in September 2007, Torres won in his native Colombia with an 11th-round TKO to retain a junior welterweight title in a controversy-filled fight. Both fighters were knocked down and the bout was marred by flying debris from the crowd, questionable refereeing and a shaky stoppage.
A rematch was inevitable and it was set for Las Vegas on July 5. Little did anyone know that it would provide all the fireworks you could ask for on the holiday weekend as Holt claimed the title in jaw-dropping style.
Rather than a long, grinding fight like their first encounter, the sequel produced an entire fight worth of blazing action in a mere 61 seconds.
That's right, a 61-second firefight that was as exciting and breathtaking as anything seen in a prize ring.
In that short burst of explosiveness -- one second more than one-third of a full round -- Holt and Torres produced an electrifying fight that included Holt being knocked down twice, a shocking comeback, a cut, controversy and a pulverizing knockout. Remember, it all happened in 1:01, which is why it was the clear choice as 2008 ESPN.com Round of the Year.
With Mike Tyson, Julio Cesar Chavez and even Paris Hilton watching at ringside at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, Torres charged at Holt, looking to pick up where he left off in the first fight.
Just 13 seconds into the fight, Torres landed a big right hand to Holt's head. Holt went down, but he popped back up so quickly that referee Jay Nady hadn't even begun the count yet. After taking the mandatory eight-count, they engaged again and Torres was all over Holt.
A flurry of punches from Torres, including a damaging left to the head, knocked Holt down for the second time 31 seconds into the fight.
Holt was far more hurt from this knockdown than the first one, but again, he jumped up quickly -- so quickly, that Torres fouled him by landing another left hook before Nady, who didn't even warn Torres about the infraction, could even begin the eight-count.
When the fight resumed, Holt was cut over the right eye and Torres charged him again. They were trading punches, Torres looking to end it and Holt fighting to stay alive. During the exchange, they accidentally smashed heads and Torres went reeling into the ropes. A split-second later, Holt unleashed a devastating right hand that knocked Torres out cold. He dropped to his knees and came to rest slumped unconscious against the ropes.
Showtime's "ShoBox: The New Generation" broadcast team was as stunned as any observer by what they were seeing.
"Trying to fight back," blow-by-blow man Nick Charles said as Holt tried to stave off the Torres attack. "Now he's got Torres down! Round of the year candidate! Ohhhhh, Torres is down and out! One of the most colossal rounds we've ever seen in boxing!"
Torres wound up on his back receiving medical attention for a lot longer than the entire fight had lasted.
"Absolutely incredible," Showtime's Steve Farhood said. "Torres was en route to winning this fight. I think that's why we love boxing. One shot turned it around. Holt hit a seven-run home run."
Also coming: awards for prospect and fight of the year
Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com.
1dMarc Stein and Ramona Shelburne