Matthew Macklin was outclassed by Gennady Golovkin as his latest bid to win a world middleweight title ended in a knockout.
The Birmingham-based Irishman was stopped inside three rounds in Connecticut by his unbeaten opponent, who held onto his WBA strap and took his record to 27-0.
Macklin lost a disputed points decision to Felix Sturm in his first world title fight and was heroic in defeat to Sergio Martinez last year, but there was little solace the 31-year-old could take from a battering at Golovkin's hands.
The Kazakh was on the front foot from the first bell and opened a cut over Macklin's right eye in the second round, forcing the challenger to attack from the start of the third.
But Macklin's aggression got him nowhere, and he was pushed onto the ropes before Golovkin unloaded a left hook to the body to secure a 14th straight stoppage.
Macklin told Sky Sports after a fifth career defeat: "Without a shadow of a doubt, he's definitely the best kid I've ever fought.
"I had a plan to exploit his weakness which was his lack of experience - he's only been 10 rounds once - but credit to him, he didn't even let me get into any kind of rhythm at all.
"He was patient, he was hard to hit clean, kept the pressure on, picked his punches well and that body shot took it out of me."