July 6, 2012

New Zealand cricket

Ryder's 114 seconds of glory

Nikita Bastian

One minute, 54 seconds. That's how long it took for Jesse Ryder to knockout sports-radio host Mark Watson in their much-anticipated boxing match in Auckland on Thursday night.

Watson, described as a 'relatively unknown but supremely opinionated' radio host in the New Zealand papers, took up Ryder's challenge after former New Zealand batsman Craig McMillan had turned him down. And, possibly, it took him all of 20 seconds in the ring to regret his decision - that's when he was first floored by Ryder, who had the crowd firmly behind him. Another 20 seconds, another encounter with the ring's canvas for Watson.

The next flurry of punches ended the bout and Watson had words of admiration for Ryder soon after. "That was a great experience to be perfectly honest and that's why I did it," Watson was quoted as saying by Fairfax NZ News. "He [Ryder] was the genius and I saw the floor. It's a dark, ugly, terrible place and I haven't been there for a long time."

Ryder, expectedly, was pumped up. "What a rush. I've never felt anything like that before," he said. "I've trained pretty hard for this and I stuck to what I knew. I'm pretty glad it's over and now I can get on with my life."

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Nikita Bastian is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Keywords: Offbeat

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