Josh Warrington impressed in joining current WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr. as one of only two men to stop hardened Irishman Patrick Hyland.
In front of his adoring fans at the First Direct Arena, Warrington went through the gears and was never in any trouble against Hyland, who initially failed to make the weight and looked like a drained fighter.
Warrington, 25, scored only the fifth early finish of his career when dropping Hyland in the eighth, before ending the argument in the ninth. An argument could have been made to pull Hyland out earlier, although the former world title challenger wanted to trade blows and go out on his shield.
With the victory, Warrington retained his WBC International title and pushed one step closer to a shot at the likes of rival Lee Selby or even Russell Jr. himself in the next six months or so.
In the co-feature, Dillian Whyte took every round of ten from rival Dave Allen on WBN’s scorecard as the pre-fight bad blood between the pair failed to materialize.
Allen’s tactics seemed to involve tiring Whyte out and coming on strong in the later rounds, although the Yorkshireman found the Londoner too elusive and succumbed to a wide defeat on the cards.
Whyte saved energy by using his power shots sparingly and relying on his superior body shots, uppercuts and combinations to bank the points.
The final round proved the most entertaining and saw Allen come on strong but it was too little too late and Whyte came out on top 100-90, 99-90 and 99-91 on the cards to win the vacant WBC International title.