KUBRAT PULEV "quit" in the third round of his heavyweight showdown with Anthony Joshua.
That's according to Joshua's former rival Dillian Whyte, who was commentating on the contest for the BBC.
A picture-perfect slip and straight-right counter from the unified heavyweight champion put the Bulgarian bruiser on wobbly legs.
'AJ' sensed blood and unleashed a hellacious flurry of shots to try and get the two-time world title challenger out of there.
Joshua put 'The Cobra' on the canvas with a brutal right uppercut, although the challenger rose to his feet to beat the referee's ten count.
Before Pulev was felled by the imperious Joshua, the veteran turned his back and retreated into the corner – which prompted the ref to issue a standing ten count.
Many interpreted Pulev's turning of his back to be a sign he wanted out of the contest – a notion Whyte agreed with.
'The Body Snatcher said:"He quit. He ran into his corner. The referee should've stopped the fight there and then."
Despite almost being finished in the third, the always-game Pulev continued to put up a stern fight.
The fight, however, was taken out of him in the ninth round when Joshua landed a succession of vicious uppercuts and was sent crashing to the mat.
Pulev, somehow, picked himself off the canvas and began marching towards the champion.
But Joshua closed the show with a beautiful one-two combination that rendered the durable and zombie-like Pulev unable to continue.
Although Joshua picked up his first stoppage victory in over two years, Whyte was far from impressed with his old foe's performance.
He said: "He could have finished this earlier. Pulev was awkward but not dangerous."
The Brixton banger added: "A strange performance. He could have made a major statement.
"He got the job done. He looks trapped between styles."
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