Dalton Smith added the Commonwealth super-lightweight title while defending his British crown outright with a stunning seventh-round knockout against Sam Maxwell.
Smith made the fourth successful defence of his British title to win the belt outright in his home city of Sheffield on Saturday evening.
The 26 year old made a lightning start to the bout at the Utilita Arena, countering Maxwell’s jab with sharp rights of his own in front of a raucous home crowd.
Maxwell’s output paled in comparison to the Sheffield man who continued to land accurate blows as he looked to break the Liverpudlian down.
A Smith feint to the body followed by a left to the head drew applause and while Smith responded with a right of his own, the momentum looked to be with the British champion entering the middle rounds.
Smith’s countering with his right looked to have planted a seed of doubt in Maxwell’s mind with the latter hesitant to commit to his own shots in fear of what might come back as Smith continued to bank rounds.
A head clash opened a cut over the right eye of the Smith in the fifth, only increasing the urgency of the home man as he went through the gears in search of a stoppage.
Maxwell looked to match the pace of Smith but was regularly beaten to the punch and was rocked by another right hand in the final minute of the sixth.
The Liverpudlian retreated to the ropes and looked to hold as Smith continued to wing in powerful blows.
Maxwell survived the round but the danger signs were present for what was to follow in the seventh.
With both men poised in the centre of the ring, Smith fired a one-two through the guard of Maxwell who was left sprawled on his back courtesy of a thudding right hand to the temple.
It became clear that the fight was over even though referee Kevin Parker opted to count for a few more seconds before confirming Smith’s victory.
Attention turned to ensure the safety of Maxwell and Smith immediately ran over to his fallen opponent to check on his wellbeing.
Smith hushed the crowd out of respect for his opponent who was still receiving treatment before receiving his own post-fight check from the ringside doctor.
Post-fight, Smith admitted the cut spurred him on in search of a stoppage victory.
“It was the first time I’ve had a cut and I’ve felt the blood pouring and I thought ‘you know what, this is why I’m a warrior, this is what I’m made for’.
“Big respect to Sam because we were friends before the fight and we are after, it’s a gentleman’s sport so big respect to him.
“I smelt blood and I thought ‘this is where I turn it up’. My last two performances, one where I was ill and the other I was a bit laxadaisical, and I needed those critics asking me ‘is Dalton that good’?”.
Tokyo 2020 silver medalist Pat McCormack sealed his fourth stoppage in five pro outings, forcing Wales’ Tony Dixon to retire after four rounds in the chief support.
Sunderland’s McCormack was scheduled to go the ten-round distance for the first time since entering the paid ranks 15 months ago but proved too much for the Welshman who was floored towards the end of the fourth.
Leeds featherweight Hopey Price also forced former British title challenger James Beech Jr to retire after seven punishing rounds, while Junaid Bostan won a wide eight-round points decision against Ryan Amos at super-welterweight.
Hull’s Lewis Sylvester emerged victorious after ten closely-fought rounds against Hartlepool’s Adam Cope to claim the vacant English lightweight title.
Featured image: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing.