A sell-out crowd of 5500 watched Joseph Parker's fourth-round demolition of Solomon Haumono in Christchurch last night.
Parker knocked the 40-year-old former Australian rugby league player to the canvas with a swift uppercut to the jaw. Haumono was unable to get back to his feet before the referee's 10 count, meaning Parker won by knock out.
Parker had most of the control in the first three rounds while Haumono was unable to load up his notorious right hand.
Leading up to last night's fight, talk had centred around whether Haumono was a worthy opponent for the much higher ranked Parker.
In the end, it took Parker just four rounds to land the winning blow.
After the fight, Parker said he knew straightaway he was in the ring with a motivated opponent.
"He came and gave it everything he had...he chased me around the ring and tried to land his big shot...I'm confident in what I can do in the ring.
"One piece of advice that Kev [trainer Kevin Barry] gave me in the beginning, when we first started, was in every fight, just stay calm, stay calm under pressure and when you stay calm the shots will come."
A bitterly disappointed Solomon Haumono said he was going to appeal the decision of the referee to stop the fight.
"I was ready to go on and unfortunately the referee seemed to think otherwise and this is the problem that we have.
"You know we've been working seriously at this camp and our goal was to win and this is very disappointing."
Before the match, spectator Gary Carter, who has been ringside for all Parker's fights, predicted the bout wouldn't go more than three rounds.
"And if it does he's really got to look at himself for the world title challenge doesn't he. Because it's not like, well, Haumono's a good boxer but he's certainly not in the world ranking anywhere is he."
Joseph Parker's opponent last night was a former rugby league player, but it was another former league player that spectator Graeme Litt said he'd like to see Parker take on next.
"I'd like to see him get Sony Bill Williams I reckon, see how they go. Could be quite good. But no I think he's going really well and it would be good if he could get the world title."
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters made the trip down to Christchurch and said he admired Parker's attitude.
"Looks like he's being handled very carefully. He's got the speed and if they take it carefully enough, he'll go a long long way."
Parker's cousin, Zak Kawhe, who was at his first fight last night, said the 24-year-old was an inspiration.
"He's humble mate ... and he's a classy man, he's got respect for his fans, so that's the biggest thing."
The victory is Parker's 17th by way of knockout.
All eyes are now on Parker's next fight in October, details of which will be revealed on Tuesday.
The win means Parker holds onto his mandatory challenge for the IBF world title which he will contest against British boxer Anthony Joshua either later this year or early next year.