Joshua Buatsi knocked out Daniel Dos Santos with a brilliant right hand in the fourth round of their fight in Manchester.
The prodigious British talent won the battle of undefeated light-heavyweight contenders with a vicious overhand right which slumped his rival to the canvas.
Buatsi had the feted veteran trainer Virgil Hunter in his corner for the first time and the resounding result puts him on a collision course with the division's best.
The world titles are held by Artur Beterbiev (IBF and WBC), Dmitry Bivol (WBA) and Joe Smith Jr (WBO) and Buatsi's chances of challenging for the first time increased after his 14th career win, and his best knockout to date.
Buatsi floored Dos Santos in the second round with a chopping right hand, sending him face-first to the canvas.
In the third, the Frenchman who had turned his life around after a lengthy stint in prison, bundled Buatsi to the floor out of sheer desperation but it only enraged the Brit.
Twenty seconds from the end of the fourth, Buatsi uncorked a perfect right hand which knocked Dos Santos out instantly - on his way down, Buatsi clipped him with another punch.
After Dos Santos recovered and burst into tears, Buatsi respectfully consoled him rather than celebrating.
It was a serious statement after questions were asked when Buatsi emerged from a difficult fight in his previous outing with Marko Calic.
He retained his WBA international belt which keeps him in world title contention.
Jason Cunningham upset Gamal Yafai by knocking him down three times to surprisingly claim his European super-bantamweight title via unanimous decision.
Yafai was down in the second, fourth and sixth rounds and spent the rest of the fight desperately trying to salvage his belt, but to no avail.
It was Cunningham's counter-punching from his southpaw stance which caused Yafai so many problems and sent him tumbling down three times.
Yafai bravely remained in the hunt and enjoyed a brilliant 10th round where he thought he had scored his own knockdown, only for the referee to rule it as a trip.
Cunningham was forced to grit his teeth through some difficult late rounds but secured the judges' verdicts (115-110, 114-111, 114-111).
The skilful Lerrone Richards comprehensively out-boxed Giovanni De Carolis to claim the vacant European super-middleweight title.
Richards, who had previously won British and Commonwealth honours, ran rings around De Carolis to secure a unanimous decision.
Italy's De Carolis, a former world title challenger, could not lay a glove on Richards who is now unbeaten in 15.
Tommy McCarthy successfully defended his European cruiserweight championship for the first time by stopping Alexandru Jur in the sixth round, twice flooring him with body shots.
Belfast's McCarthy is set to fight domestic rival Chris Billam-Smith next.
Dalton Smith claimed the vacant English super-lightweight title by dominating Lee Appleyard and forcing a sixth-round stoppage.
The referee stepped in with Appleyard still on his feet when Smith's onslaught became too much. Smith is now unbeaten in eight.
Solomon Dacres, a former Team GB amateur who has sparred with Anthony Joshua, Joe Joyce and Daniel Dubois, won his first professional fight on points by battering Mladen Manev for six rounds.
Ellis Hopkins won her professional debut on points against 79-fight veteran Borislava Goranova. Hopkins is the first female pro boxer from the Traveller community.