Pat McCormack announced himself as a professional with a vicious first round knockout win on his debut.
The Olympic silver medallist landed a left hook to the body on Justin Menzie with just over 90 seconds left of the opening round at Probellum Throwdown in Newcastle.
Menzie was in agony from the expertly placed shot and was unable to beat the referee’s count.
McCormack’s huge home support at the Utilita Arena went wild and chanted ‘There’s only one Pat McCormack’ as they celebrated his perfect introduction to the paid ranks.
“I’m very happy, it was a good performance in front of all of these amazing fans,” McCormack said.
“Getting a first round stoppage on my debut, I couldn’t be happier.”
Earlier in the night, Troy Williamson dragged himself off the floor to out-point Mason Cartwright and retain his British super-welterweight title in a fight of the year contender.
Williamson was sent to the canvas in round two by the challenger and looked in big trouble in the early stages but the 30-year-old dug in to win scores of 116-111, 117-112 and 114-113 on the judges’ scorecards.
The Darlington man won the belt in a classic with Ted Cheeseman last year and delivered yet more drama in front of a frenzied crowd at the Utilita Arena.
“What a fight, what a fight!” said Sam Jones, Head of Talent Relations at Probellum.
“Huge credit to Mason. I thought some of the scorecards were too wide, I had it by one round for Troy, but what a fight.”
Cartwright said: “This was my first 12 rounder and we’ve just had a great fight – maybe we can do it again?”
Mark Dickinson picked up a valuable six rounds against the tough Hungarian Peter Kramer, winning 60-54 on the scorecard, and said: “He was a tough guy with a winning record so it was good to get the rounds in.
“These are the kind of fights I want, and you don’t see many fighters my age, in their third fight, going in with guys who have winning records.
“I want to say a big thank-you to the North East fans, they are the best fans in the country.”
Dickinson, a gym-mate of McCormack, is now 3-0.
Thomas Patrick Ward 100-90 Alexis Boureima Kabore
Ben Rees R1 technical draw Greg O’Neill
Joe Laws 57-58 Alexey Tukhtarov
Robert Ismay won TKO R4 Christian Adjoufack
Joe Maphosa 60-54 Santiago el Eusibio
Stephen Sayers won TKO R2 Darly Sharp
Alex Farrell 60-54 Konstantin Alexandrov