Denton Vassell has retained his Commonwealth welterweight title after stopping Ronnie Heffron in the sixth round at Manchester's MEN Arena.
A lively scrap had been forecast and the pair duly delivered, but Vassell gradually took charge and clinched victory with a pair of vicious uppercuts.
The champion was having his first fight for a year but looked sharp early on and connected with a good left hook.
But Heffron came into the bout with a big reputation and the Oldham man went on to edge the remainder of the opening round and also had the better of the second.
However, the experienced Vassell upped his game in the third and a feisty round ended with the duo exchanging blows after the bell had rung.
Vassell also had the better of round four but Heffron was landing plenty of blows himself and launched a particularly eye-catching flurry at the start of the fifth.
But Vassell regrouped and bossed the rest of the round before bringing proceedings to a halt in the sixth.
Having rocked Heffron with a left upper-cut, the man from Manchester connected with a clean right and the referee stepped in, with Heffron looking like he was about to topple.
He managed to stay on his feet and the crowd booed their displeasure at the decision to end the fight but Heffron was reeling from the blows and may have been easy prey for Vassell if the bout had continued.