Sunday 1 April 2018 01:02, UK
Joe Cordina claimed his maiden professional title in style as he stopped Hakim Ben Ali in front of his home fans at The Principality.
The 26-year-old Cardiff favourite outclassed his Belgian opponent from start to finish before, having his man down twice earlier in the round, he ended proceedings in the third to claim the vacant WBA International lightweight title.
The former amateur standout received a rapturous applause as he was announced to the crowd and Cordina, now 7-0, immediately got down to business, stalking his man down with a swift left jab.
Feinting nicely, Cordina opened up space to land a good left to the body in the second that left the Belgian wincing, the referee though judged it to be low and called a timeout.
In the next period, 'The Welsh wizard' upped the ante and a series of spiteful, cuffing, shots soon sent Ben Ali sagging down into the ropes.
The Cardiff slickster refused to let up from there, intent on making a statement in front of his adoring fans, and a left hook upstairs, quickly followed by another sickening body blow, soon had his opponent planted on the canvas again.
Ben Ali unsteadily returned to his feet but he wasn't there for long after as another set of hooks sat him down again. This time, the referee decided that he had seen enough.
Speaking afterwards, a delighted Cordina said: "I thought I would take my time, but when I started landing he didn't want to know and I went after the finish.
"I boxed well behind the jab, let my shots go and got him out of there.
"I'm still growing into the lightweight division. We're progressing nicely. I've only just moved up and I have a lot of growing into the weight to do.
"There are loads of big fights in the division for me, but tonight was about doing a job."