Billy Joe Saunders won the vacant WBO world super-middleweight title with a unanimous points victory over Shefat Isufi at Stevenage’s Lamex Stadium.
The former WBO middleweight belt holder joined the list of two-weight world champions in dominant style, showing punch variety and classy movement.
The 29-year-old was briefly wobbled by a right hand in the sixth round but found poise again to capture the belt.
Judges scored the fight 120-108 117-111 118-110 in favor of the Englishman.
Earlier in the night British heavyweight Joe Joyce, a 2016 Olympic silver medallist, extended his record to nine wins from nine when a left hook in the third round floored Alexander Ustinov, who could not answer the count.
But in making it 28 wins from as many fights, he opened up future options of unification fights at 168lbs or a move back down to middleweight, where Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez holds three of the four world titles.
In truth, he was levels above Isufi, who showed heart and resilience and according to BBC Radio 5 Live pundit Andy Lee, “let a golden chance slip” when he had his moment of joy in the sixth round.
“He caught me in the sixth,” said Saunders. “It didn’t have me where my legs were gone. I haven’t been in a meaningful fight for 14 months. He’s number one with the WBO for a reason so he’s obviously good.
“My boxing ability will always get me further in the sport I believe.
“I want the big fights, the big names. The big domestic fights, unification fights. I moved up from middleweight as none of them would fight me.”