Cameron Hardy toasted his Shock N Awe 28 main-event victory and declared: My hard work is paying off.
The Royal Nay talent delivered an impressive first-round TKO victory over Jean Do Duc at Portsmouth Guildhall on Saturday.
Hardy, who trains at Fratton’s Gym 01, finished the fight inside three minutes via ground-and-pound punches.
He extended his professional record to 4-1 and is undefeated since his debut.
Hardy admitted he had some nervous heading into the contest, having not been able to watch any previous footage of Do Duc.
Yet the 23-year-old made light work of the Frenchman, controlling him on the mat before finishing the battle with a string of unanswered punches from full mount.
With a boxing background, Hardy admitted he previously didn’t focus too much on his ground game.
The Darlington-born ace has recently taken a keen interest in that aspect of things, however, and is reaping the rewards.
Hardy said: ‘It was probably one of the most nervous fights I’ve been in because there was no footage of him.
‘I wouldn’t care if I was coming up against a world-class striker or world-class grappler as long as I’d watched a bit of footage.
‘But because there wasn’t any I went into the unknown.
‘It didn’t throw me but I didn’t know what to expect, so I was well happy with how it went.
‘I felt in control the whole time. I was never worried, even when the fight was up against the cage I felt absolutely fine.
‘It was good for me on the ground. I just used to practice what I liked, which is my stand up.
‘Now I’m putting myself out of my comfort zone, especially with the classes that Brian (Adams) puts on.
‘That’s how you improve as a fighter. I wasn’t that interested in the ground work but now I have taken a big interest in it and it’s starting to pay off.
‘I went 3-0 as an amateur and took a tough first fight as a professional and I learned from that.
‘I feel like getting I’m getting better every fight and put a lot of effort in outside Gym 01.’
Hardy did drop to the canvas against Do Duc after being clipped with a left hook.
But he insisted he slipped and never felt troubled.
‘I went down but it was just a slip,’ said the Gym 01 charge.
‘You can see that on the footage. He did clip me but you can see that my back leg slipped out.
‘It didn't hurt me at all, I was absolutely fine.’