Paulie Malignaggi became a two-weight world champion on Sunday with a ninth round stoppage of previously undefeated Vyacheslav Senchenko.
The American, known to British fight fans as the man who lost in fights to Amir Khan and Ricky Hatton, produced arguably the performance of his career to secure the WBA welterweight title.
Malignaggi, not known for his concussive punching, looked fit and penetrative- his oft expressed concerns about fragile bones in his hands never a problem.
The former IBF light-welterweight title holder even found time to post messages on Twitter during the fight, much to the delight of his army of followers.
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The victory will raise questions about the prospect of a rematch with Amir Khan. The Bolton-born fighter takes on Lamont Peterson next month and may look to move up to welterweight later this year.
On this side of the Atlantic, Tony Bellew reignited his hopes for a world title at light-heavyweight with a five round demolition job on Danny McIntosh.
The Liverpudlian, who came up just short in in this October shot at Nathan Cleverly‘s WBO strap, was making his first appearance in a ring after since that painful defeat. He started strongly, flooring McIntosh in the fourth, before ending it a round later.
Bellew will hope that this latest win will encourage Cleverly to offer him a return, however the Welshman’s head may have been turned by Bernard Hopkins’ defeat to Chad Dawson in Atlantic City.
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