Lucas Ballingall underlined his status as Portsmouth’s emerging star with a sizzling big-fight stoppage.
Ballingall took out French hardman Michael Dehamnia in two enthralling rounds with a stand-out showing at the Mountbatten Centre.
Dehamnia had never previously been stopped in 14 contests and brought an 8-4-2 record to the table.
But he had no answer to Ballingall’s effortless footwork and blurring handspeed as the 21-year-old dazzled.
Ballingall floored Dehamnia in the second and threw caution to the wind as he went looking for the knockout. That saw him showcase a full repertoire of shots which led to the referee stepping in as Dehamnia’s corner threw in the towel.
It was a display which would have impressed Manchester’s former world champ Anthony Crolla, who was ringside.
A lot of big prospects couldn’t stop him so I’ve shown I’ve got powerLucas Ballingall
And Ballingall was pleased he gave a near sellout crowd the excitement they craved.
He said: ‘I’m happy it was entertaining. The lad came to fight and we had a bit of a war. I’m happy I gave a good show to the fans.
‘I was sloppy at times and getting caught with silly shots. He was physically strong and kept throwing big bombs.
‘I kept to the boxing but landed a shot, his legs went and he went over.
‘He got up so I stayed on him. My dad said his legs were gone but he was still firing back so I’m not sure about that!
‘He was a tough lad with a winning record who comes to win. A lot of big prospects couldn’t stop him so I’ve shown I’ve got power.’
With Dehamnia being brought in as a late-notice opponent, Ballingall gave away half a stone in weight.
The featherweight had no concerns about doing so, however, as he eyes making a big impression in the sport.
He said: ‘I gave away half a stone and he was fit. But if I want to get to where I think I can that shouldn’t bother me against these lads.
‘I didn’t look my best, I’ve looked better but I’m pleased overall with my performance.
‘I’m proving I’m a level above and I want to push on. I’m fighting February in Belfast and want to keep winning.’
Elsewhere, Bournemouth’s Sam Jones took a 39-38 points win over Portsmouth’s Andy Ponsford in their contest earlier in the evening.
Paul Kamanga, Lucy Wildheart and Luther Clay were also among the winners on an entertaining and successful night for the sport and Siesta Boxing Promotions at a slickly-organised event.