Ricky Hatton signalled his return to form with a classy 11th-round stoppage of Paulie Malignaggi in Las Vegas.
Hatton was fighting for the first time since ending his partnership with long-time trainer Billy Graham.
And he dominated his match with the slick New Yorker to such an extent that Malignaggi’s trainer Buddy McGirt climbed onto the ring apron just 28 seconds into the 11th round to indicate the bout should be stopped.
Hatton’s victory silenced the doubters who believed the 30-year-old Englishman was past his prime following his loss to Floyd Mayweather and subsequent lacklustre comeback win over Juan Lazcano.
Hatton said: “This was a career-defining fight for me. I think the thought going into this fight was that I was past it and to be honest, doubts began to creep into my mind.
“Have I had too many fights? Have I been in too many wars? Has the weight-making over all the years been like everyone was saying?
“But I think tonight I’ve proved myself, I showed a technical side to my game which I’ve been missing for maybe two, three, four fights.
“To have done so much in just seven weeks makes me very proud. I’ve got this fight against my nearest rival out of the way and it’s all about the future now.”