Jamie McDonnell moved closer towards a world title shot with an impressive victory over late stand-in Darwin Zamora in Sheffield.
The Doncaster man went through his full repertoire against the Nicaraguan, who proved a gutsy but ultimately out-classed opponent.
That it went eight of the 12 rounds was the surprise as McDonnell proved his worth in what was an eliminator for the IBF bantamweight title.
The British, Commonwealth and European champion put his stamp on the fight early on, establishing the left jab against a southpaw who was soon looking to land the sweeping left hook.
But McDonnell was too cute, moving in and out of range with classy combinations against a foe who was all-too easy to hit.
Hurtful blows to the body opened the Nicaraguan up for further punishment, but to be fair to the 24-year-old he continued to stand his ground.
At halfway McDonnell was well on top, landing 50 percent of punches thrown and marking his opponent around both eyes.
Zamora came back in the seventh, landing the odd shot, but it proved to be a last-gasp effort for the next was very one-sided, a sharp right wobbling the smaller man who at last showed signs of weakness.
And with every round in the bank it came as little wonder that Zamora's corner pulled him out before the start of the ninth, handing McDonnell a thoroughly deserved early night.
"I know I'm the best in the world at bantamweight, I've just got to go out there and prove it," he told Sky Sports.
"He hurt me with a little body shot but apart from that I thought I was beating him up, I was thinking 'come on ref, stop it' but he came back and hit me with one to keep me on my toes.
"I've won every title going, next step world. I've defended my titles and fought the best and I'm proving I'm going to be the best in the world.
"Please, believe me I'm going to be world champion, I'm 100 percent confident."
Upcoming bantamweight Kal Yafai moved to 4-0 with a second round stoppage of Scott Gladwin in Sheffield.
Yafai, who narrowly missed out on a place at the London Games, once again looked a serious prospect as he hurt Gladwin with body shots in the opener.
Gladwin was unable to stay out of trouble and had to take a count at the end of the round, and was done for midway through the second.
Brummie Yafai will now be stepped up to an eight-rounder on the Carl Froch undercard next month, with rumours that veteran Jason Booth is being lined up.