Maxi Hughes (23(5)-5(2) claims another Irish scalp as he knocked out Paul Hyland Jnr (20(7)-3(3) over eight rounds.
The Sean O’Hagan-trained fighter, who holds wins over Jono Carroll and James Fryers, claimed the Lonsdale belt to continue his renaissance.
The win came after a controversial stoppage, although as the rounds accumulated, a Hughes win looked increasingly likely.
The Belfast native started well, winning the first two rounds and boxing behind his jab but Hughes began to take over in the third round, landing some great body shots and hurting Hyland.
The two went back and forth exchanging heavy body shots and a solid fifth-round from Hyland had the belief going again, the body shots proved to be fatal however as Hughes continued with his attack to the midrange of Hyland, landing, and punishing the second time British title contender.
A stellar eighth round from Hughes brought an end to proceedings, again punishing the body before a mix up between referee Terry O’Connor seen Hyland nearly touch the canvas from a body shot and turn his back as the referee signalled to continue boxing, Hughes pounced and knocked the turned away Hyland down and out.
The Hyland corner was furious after the bout was ended as to how the fight was stopped, but there was no changing the end result.
Hughes continues to improve as a fighter making it four wins on the bounce after a 2019 loss to Liam Walsh, and beating Hyland makes it his third victory over Irish fighters.