Jack Catterall produced a furious finish to stop Mexican wildman Noe Nunez Rodriguez and retain his WBO Inter-Continental super-lightweight title.
The Chorley southpaw landed a barrage of punches in the third round and referee Phil Edwards did not hesitate in calling the bout off with two minutes and 58 seconds on the clock.
Despite the brutal stoppage, the 22-year-old did not have it all his own way and had to take some big shots, particularly in the second round.
The victory improved Catterall’s record to 14 victories – eight by way of knockout – and no defeats.
Fighting on the undercard of the WBO middleweight world title fight between Andy Lee and Billy Joe Saunders, Catterall won the opener as he had success with both the jab and back left hand.
Nunez, who suffered his third defeat as a professional, did land with an uppercut towards the end of the round.
Mexican Nunez had the better of a battling second and cut Catterall on the lip, showing his ambition.
The 28-year-old landed shots to the body and head as Catterall looked uncomfortable. But, as Nunez came out swinging in the third, Catterall started to find his range and landed with a straight left.
The shot backed his opponent up on to the ropes and after a brutal finish, which saw Catterall land a number of hooks to the head, referee Edwards stepped in to stop the contest.
Speaking after the fight, Catterall said: “Rodriguez was a live opponent, he came over here to take the belt and I had to be on my A game to get the win.
“I managed to get him out in the third, I was settling in to the fight and got him under control, when I saw him dip and he didn’t want it I could smell the blood and go in for the kill.
“I’ll go back and watch the fight again and in the new year there will be things I can learn and build on.”