The shock of the American veteran Tony Thompson destroying the 6ft 8in British heavyweight hope David Price in two rounds in Liverpool earlier in the evening reverberated all the way to London, as Audley Harrison again lit a fire under his interesting career by winning his second Prizefighter trophy, becoming the first man to do so.
That was not a double any bookmaker had considered seriously beforehand. It is a measure of the calamity for Price that Harrison's win was by some way the lesser surprise.
In front of a packed house in boxing's East End cathedral, the man on a seemingly never-ending journey towards redemption, a boxer who has disappointed more times than an inconsiderate suitor, he pummelled the 32-year-old New Yorker Derric Rossy into submission in two rounds, although he protested lamely in a neutral corner after being decked for the second time.
As for Price, his punch resistance was always the unknown in his makeup and memories of his collapse in the Beijing Olympics against Roberto Cammarelli (whom gold medallist Anthony Joshua beat in the London Games) returned painfully as the British champion fell to the power of Thompson's southpaw flush under the ear. It was a significant blow in more ways than one. A lot of freight was being heaped on the Liverpudlian's broad shoulders and there has been no little talk lately of his moving without hindrance towards a world title shot against either of the Klitschko brothers.
As Price's handlers have to quickly reassess their strategy, the enigmatic Harrison has surprised us all again, coming back from the ignominy of a one-round stoppage in his last fight (and everyone thought it was going to be his last fight) against Price in October. What a turnaround.
Yet, at 41 and back under 17st for the first time since he won Olympic gold 13 years ago, he has reinvented himself and in this format he is formidable. The prospect of boxing three opponents over three three-minute rounds does not seem to invest his spirit with the same doubts as when he is placed in the more dangerous environment of a big 12-round title bout. It takes him back to his amateur days of tournament boxing.
En route to the final, he took 33 seconds over the 32-year-old Dane, Claus Bertino, who looked as bemused as he was entitled to be after a short left scattered his senses, and his only friend was the top rope that kept him upright long enough to be led back to his corner.
That put £2,000 bonus in Audley's pocket for a stoppage win, and another £4,000 flew out of the coffers when Brixton's Ian Lewison did a similarly impressive one-round job on the 38-year-old Timo Hoffman (the first man to take Vitali Klitschko the distance – 13 years ago).
It was only his second stoppage loss, however, and the Londoner, a former England international finally taking the pro game seriously at 31, lived up to his wonderful fighting moniker, "Lay 'Em Out" Lewison – even if Timo finished standing up.
The other quarter-final stoppage belonged to Rogan, in the first contest of the evening. He looked full of fire and fight against the former world title challenger, Albert Sosnowski, even belting him through the ropes in the second round, straight into the lap of the promoter, Eddie Hearn, and his father, Barry. Hearn senior first brought young Eddie to this venerable old hall in 1991 and he probably then did not think he would be back here 22 years later running the show. Prizefighter was Barry's baby and Eddie has fine-tuned the format into a consistent money-spinner, one of Sky's most reliable attractions.
Not every Prizefighter has been a brilliant blizzard of brawling, but many have and this time was no exception as the big men swung from the hip, not always with sophistication – and there was nobody in the sell-out house who complained much about that.
The visiting Americans Rossy and the pre-tournament favourite Travis "Freight Train" Walker went the three-round distance in their quarter-final, Rossy getting the nod for the right to mix it with Lewison in the second semi-final.
In that bout, the Brixton fighter showed more smarts and landed the more telling blows as Rossy faded under pressure, his bleeding mouth wide open and sucking at the warm air at the end of three entertaining rounds, but the judges saw in two rounds to one in the American's favour, not a decision that went down that well with the locals. I thought it marginal, but not outrageous.
Elsewhere on the bill, the former Great Britain Olympic captain Tom Stalker beat Kristian Laight with style over four rounds on his professional debut.
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