Nathan Cleverly took apart late replacement Shawn Hawk in eight rounds with some crunching body shots to make a successful fourth defence of his WBO light-heavyweight title in Los Angeles.
The 25 year-old, who was originally scheduled to fight southpaw Ryan Coyne, easily dealt with Hawk’s defensive orthodox style and was clearly in a different league as he won every round for the duration.
The Cardiff-based stylist showed slick skills and a volume of punches that compatriot Joe Calzaghe would have been proud of, before wearing Hawk down from the fifth, to eventually put him down in the seventh with some wicked shots downstairs.
Hawk, 28, only just made the count from the first knockdown, but would go down a further three times before referee Tony Crebs and the Native American’s corner stepped in to end the challenger’s pain.
Cleverly could now move on to a fifth defence against American legend Bernard Hopkins – with WBA champion Beibut Shumenov also a possibility for the Welshman’s first fight of the New Year.