Daniel Dubois won the British title and continued his rise towards heavyweight boxing’s biggest names with a fifth-round stoppage of rival Nathan Gorman.
The 21-year-old Londoner showcased his power at his city’s O2 Arena, scoring a knockdown in the third round.
Gorman – roared on by his cousin Tyson Fury from ringside – survived but was dropped by a right to his temple in the fifth and the fight was waved off.
“I was very confident in my power,” said Dubois. “I felt him fading.”
Dubois, who now has 12 wins – 11 via knockout – as a professional, added: “I just need to keep working and every fight is a learning fight for me.
Dubois has been tipped as a future threat to the top heavyweights but this was – on paper – his toughest assignment given 23-year-old Gorman had 16 wins and no defeats to his name.
Promoter Frank Warren said he did not even want to make the fight as he hoped to instead build the profile of his two heavyweight prospects further before they shared a ring.
But Warren simply found that neither man wanted to back out of the chance to land the British title and, as former sparring partners at the Great Britain amateur base in Sheffield, both Dubois and Gorman knew exactly what they were getting in to.
Gorman, flanked by Fury and trainer Ricky Hatton during his ring walk, took a couple of heavy right hands early on.
Returning to the corner he was told to “avoid the danger first” by Hatton but his rival’s right hand remained threatening for every second of the contest and Gorman was cut above his left eye in the second.
Early in the third, Dubois’ flurry of cuffing right hands put Gorman on the canvas. He rose and desperately swung – fighting fire with fire in a bid to avoid being finished.
Fury stood and screamed instruction at his cousin, who admirably stayed in the fight to land work of his own before being jolted by another right hand early in the fifth.
Seconds later Dubois – nicknamed ‘Dynamite’ – smartly flicked two jabs to again set up his accurate and punishing right hand, sending Manchester’s Gorman crashing to a first defeat.
“I hold my hands up, he was the better man,” said Gorman. “I will have to come again and I’m sure I will.”