TEOFIMO LOPEZ stunned Josh Taylor to a first-ever defeat while ripping away the WBO light-welterweight title.
The two settled their ugly feud in the basement of New York's famed Madison Square Garden.
Lopez marred the build up in controversy after claiming he wanted to KILL Taylor and refusing to apologise for the sick taunt.
In the end, the American let his fists do the talking as he walked away with an upset points win to once again become world champion.
But he did later show remorse, telling Taylor: "I think I let my emotions get the best of me.
"I do not want to take your life, I want you to go back to your family. I apologise as a man."
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And after defeat, Taylor said: "No excuses, it wasn't my best, but the better man won. I felt amazing in the gym. Congratulations to Teofimo.
"I'd love to do it again. The lay-off had nothing to do with it. I've got no excuses, he was the better man tonight."
Taylor suffered his first loss in 20 bouts, despite several believing he was fortunate to avoid defeat to British rival Jack Catterall in February 2022.
And refusing to wait out for a rematch has now backfired after Lopez ripped away the WBO title.
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Taylor, 32, started the quicker of the two in the opening round, finding home to some smart left hands.
And in round three, Lopez looked in trouble when he was punched into the ropes and took an uppercut after referee Michael Griffin called break.
An uppercut also looked to have floored the former unified lightweight champion, though a slip was called.
Lopez sparked into life in round four and this time it was Taylor who touched the canvas, although again no knockdown was scored.
And Taylor looked in trouble when a right hand left him staggered back and forced to hold on.
By round seven, Lopez was beginning to come on top and winning the exchanges from the rivalling orthodox and southpaw stances.
Taylor showed frustration in the eighth as he was made to miss and pay by Lopez, who was quick on the counter.
In round nine, a combination punched Taylor into the ropes and there was a sense Lopez already had one hand on the belts.
The challenger landed a massive right uppercut in round 11, which was the best punch of the round.
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Taylor came out for the 12th and final round knowing only a stoppage could save him from defeat.
But Lopez boxed smart to see out the final bell, where a unanimous decision saw him reign as a two-division world champ aged 25.
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