Anthony Joshua insists he was never in trouble before destroying Dillian Whyte in the seventh round for the British heavyweight title.
The 2012 Olympic gold medallist controlled most of the bout but was caught by a big left hand in the second round that made him jittery and go into his shell until the fourth round at the O2 Arena in London.
Jamaica-born Londoner Whyte (16-1, 13 KOs), 27, enjoyed more success in the third before Joshua regained control through his power and movement.
Joshua (15-0, 15 KOs), 26, was taken beyond three rounds for the first time as a professional but he produced perhaps his best finish yet in the paid ranks -- a pulverising right uppercut in the seventh round that nailed Whyte to the canvas.
"I wasn't badly hurt, it's boxing and it happens," Joshua told a press conference. "Sometimes people get sparked out because they don't know how to handle it but I reverted back to what I was told.
"I had to clear the red mist and get back together, that's why I took the third round off.
"He's a big puncher and you just have to read the punches. In boxing you have got 12 rounds and it's a thinking man's sport. Sometimes you have to take a round off to see what's working and what isn't, and that's what I did in the third round. When I started boxing more it started working more and the overhand right is what got him out of there.
"Anyone at heavyweight can take a shot and it wasn't about whether I could take a shot or not."
The new British heavyweight champion, who also holds the Commonwealth title, is now being lined up to defend his belts back at the O2 Arena in Greenwich on April 9, with former world title challenger Dereck Chisora a possible opponent.
"If we are a looking to defend the British title Dereck Chisora is probably the number one option right now," Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn told a press conference. "April 9 is the date to be penciled in back at the O2 Arena but I can't see Anthony doing three defences of the title."
And Joshua is prepared to face Whyte again, despite talk of him facing Chisora and then Londoner David Haye, the former WBA heavyweight champion, possibly at Wembley on June 4.
"I would fight him again because he can provide venom and give me rounds what I need to keep progressing," said Joshua.
But Joshua is not in a rush to face Manchester's WBA-WBO world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, who out-pointed long-reigning Wladimir Klitschko last month.
"I need a bit more experience because Tyson has been a pro seven years, I've only done two years," said Joshua. "If the world title opportunity presents itself, who knows? I would make Tyson Fury a hard fight now but if I learn and gain experience I would make it an easy fight later."
After winning rounds two and three, Whyte began to unravel and was then staggered by a straight right in the seventh. Joshua, who still lives at home with his mum in north London, stalked Whyte around the ring swinging in shots before unleashing a perfectly timed right uppercut that left his opponent in a heap.
It was not a faultless display, but it was satisfying enough for Joshua, he said, "because of bragging rights and it going back to 2009 [when Whyte beat Joshua in the amateur ranks]".
"I enjoyed showing talk is cheap," he added. "He was tough and there were times I had him in the first and he had me in the second.
"I proved a few things to myself. Everything I did in the amateurs is irrelevant and I was ready to go 12 rounds and I showed I had a good engine in that fight."