Avtandil Khurtsidze showed why he was the pre-fight favourite as the Georgian booked a potential shot at WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders at Leicester Arena.
The 37 year-old, nicknamed ‘Tazman’, had Tommy Langford in trouble early on before taking over in the fourth, then dropping and stopping the Briton in the fifth.
With the win, Khurtsidze picks up the interim WBO belt at 160 pounds and will be eagerly awaiting news of Saunders’ possible unification with Gennady Golovkin.
Undercard results from Leicester:
Tyrone Nurse was held to a draw as the British champion attempted to win the Lonsdale Belt outright against Joe Hughes.
In a fight the current domestic title holder seemed to have edged, two of the judges disagreed as one had it for Hughe and the other had it a draw.
A rematch could now be on the cards as Nurse could be forced to put plans to move towards world level on hold.
‘Dynamite’ Daniel Dubois, or ‘DDD’ as he’s now being called, once again wasted no time scoring another win as the big-punching heavyweight halted Blaise Mendouo early in the second.
Dubois swarmed all over Mendouo as soon as he sniffed a potential finish and there was no way back for the former Olympian.
Highly-rated by promoter Frank Warren, Dubois moved to 2-0 with ease and can begin to contemplate bigger things in the near future.
In what was a contender for Fight of the Year, evenly-matched Jahmaine Smyle and Darryll Williams gave their all in a bid to win the English super-middleweight title
A hard-fought war, which swung one way and then the other, culminated in a split decision win for Williams and led to loud shouts for a second helping.
The challenger was awarded the bout 97-93 and 98-93 on the scorecards, with a third seeing it 96-95 to the now former champion.
Social media exploded during the fight as fans called on promoter Frank Warren to match the pair together in an immediate return.
Solid light-heavyweight Anthony Yarde was close to finishing out only his sixteenth professional round in ten fights until opponent Darren Snow succumbed to his power with just over 40 seconds left.
A barrage in the corner had Snow ducking for cover until Yarde produced a crushing body shot to send his opponent to the canvas.
Yarde’s ninth stoppage from those ten starts has led the 25 year-old Londoner nicely into a Southern Area title shot on May 20 against Chris Hobbs.
Former IBF super-flyweight champion Zolani Tete claimed the vacant interim WBO bantamweight title on Saturday night with a unanimous decision win over Artur Villanueva.
Tete was on top for the majority of the bout as Villanueva struggled to deal with the South African’s classy movement. Villanueva was dropped in the eleventh round as Tete saw out a 120-107 and 119-108 (twice) triumph on the cards and move closer to becoming a two-weight world title holder.
The WBO bantamweight belt is currently vacant after Marlon Tapales failed to make weight for his defence against Shohei Omori on Sunday. Should Omori win, the Japanese fighter will take the available strap, although a win for Tapales could see Tete boosted to full status by the end of the weekend.
WBO President Paco Valcarcel made the announcement just hours before Tete took the ring and put on a masterclass performance at Leicester Arena.
In the bustling UK super welterweight division, Ekow Essuman continued to build his name in the ranks with a third round victory over Casey Blair, whilst Lyon Woodstock took out Paul Holt in three rounds after what was good scrap while it lasted.
Former GB amateur captain Thomas Stalker is back in the win column following some sketchy form as the Liverpool man proved too skilful for Chris Adaway. Stalker won 60-55 on the cards after six sessions.
Raza Hamza dropped Rafael Castillo early as the super-bantamweight kept his unbeaten record intact on the cards, whilst super welterweight Sam Maxwell stopped Georgie Wright in five rounds to do likewise in his second pro outing.
Kicking off the night, Super Middleweight Chris Blaney defeated Christian Hoskin Gomez over six rounds 58-56. The Ricky Hatton protege is now undefeated in six bouts.