Northern Ireland’s Carl Frampton stayed on course for a world title challenge against Jamel Herring by stopping Scotland’s Darren Traynor in London.
Former two-weight world champion Frampton, 33, exhibited a few signs of ring rust in the early rounds against a brave and overwhelming underdog.
But a fierce Frampton body shot put Traynor, 33, down in the sixth round.
Another left to the body in the next led to Traynor gesturing to the referee that he wanted the fight to end.
Frampton admitted that he was “far from my best” as he earned his 28th win of his 30-fight career.
“Once I started landing my jab, I hurt him a few times with the jab and then the body shots in the second half of the fight.
“I know I need to be a lot better but it was good to get the rounds in. My hands are fine, no issues there, so onwards and upwards.”
Traynor is a former two-weight Scottish champion and once challenged for the British super-featherweight title.
The Aberdeen man was drafted in to train as a potential replacement for original opponent Vahram Vardanyan three weeks ago and it was only confirmed on Monday that he would be fighting the Northern Irishman at York Hall.
The drafting in of Traynor led to the fight being a lightweight contest, which is the Scot’s natural weight.
That may have explained Frampton’s low-key approach to the opening five rounds.
Traynor had spoken of his “life-changing opportunity” but while he competed well early on, the end then came quickly as he had no answer to Frampton’s brutal body punches.
Promoter Bob Arum suggested earlier this month that Frampton will meet WBO super-featherweight champion Herring in November – most likely in the US – providing they won their next bouts.
Frampton duly did that in London and will hope US fighter Herring overcomes Jonathan Oquendo in his title defence next month.