Chris Eubank Jr produced a spiteful performance to force Spike O'Sullivan into retirement at the end of the seventh round on Saturday and move closer to a world title shot in 2016.
The Brighton boxer controlled most of the WBA world middleweight title eliminator before O'Sullivan was pulled out by his corner, trailing on points and being relentlessly peppered by punches from Eubank.
Eubank (20-1, 15 KOs), who has repaired his career after losing his unbeaten record on points to Billy Joe Saunders just over a year ago, earned a crack at New Yorker Daniel Jacobs for the WBA crown after repeatedly catching O'Sullivan with right uppercuts.
O'Sullivan (22-1, 15 KOs), 31, had planted a kiss on Eubank at Friday's weigh-in but was caught flush by a shot in the first round when he tried another cheeky stunt of putting his hands behind his back.
The Irishman began the second round behind his jab but Eubank then launched a furious and frenzied assault, including a right uppercut that landed flush. O'Sullivan survived but was caught by two more right uppercuts by the end of the second.
But in a thrilling twist, Eubank was on the receiving end in the third round when he was caught by a right after he dropped his hands to showboat. O'Sullivan landed two more big rights to leave Eubank blowing blood out of his nose in an effort to breath better.
But it was a brief moment of success for O'Sullivan who was then met with steady stream of punches from a rejuvenated Eubank from the fourth round.
Eubank was back into his stride until the seventh, landing lightning fast combinations and continually snapping back O'Sullivan's head with the right uppercut.
Kevin Mitchell's career looks in doubt after being stopped in the fifth round by Ismael Barroso, who could now fight Manchester's WBA world lightweight champion Anthony Crolla next year.
After being halted in a 10-round bloodbath with WBC lightweight champion Jorge Linares in May, Mitchell (39-4, 29 KOs) could ill afford to lose and this defeat could end the 31-year-old's career.
If there was any doubt about the first knockdown Mitchell suffered in the fourth round, there was none when Barroso (19-0-2, 18 KOs) floored the Londoner with a right in fifth.
Mitchell bravely got to his feet but the Venezuelan unloaded some unanswered clean blows and the fight was stopped with just 13 seconds of the fifth round with the Londoner on his hands and knees.
Barroso lifted the WBA interim title by finishing off Mitchell and making himself a possible opponent for Crolla in 2016.
Earlier in the evening, Tony Bellew won the vacant European cruiserweight title while Luke Campbell suffered his first professional defeat.