Josh Taylor produced the performance of his promising career by becoming the first man to stop Miguel Vazquez in the ninth round of his WBC Silver super-lightweight defence.
The Scottish prospect began the night sixth in the green belt rankings but, with a packed Royal Highland Centre behind him, he fired out a warning to the rest of the world.
The finish came from a vicious right to the body 30 seconds from the end of the ninth in Edinburgh, Vazquez unable to beat the count and the ‘Tartan Tornado’ becoming the first of 45 foes to deny the Mexican star reaching the final bell.
It was also the furthest Taylor had gone but as soon as a clash of heads opened up a cut over his eye in the second round, it was clearly going to be his toughest test to date.
Vazquez’s awkward and elusive style meant he was struggling to gain complete control early on and if he got in too close, he was caught on more than one occasion.
The fourth and fifth rounds though saw his left hook come into play and the short rights showed the gameplan was to go to the body first.
Three quick, cute rights and a similar onslaught with the left in the seventh was perhaps the first time Vazquez, the former IBF lightweight holder, was starting to tire.
Taylor increased the pressure in the eight and once the ninth saw him go into unknown territories himself, an early body shot with the right set up the perfect finish.
The 26-year-old moves to 11-0-KO10 and will now set his sights on the European super-lightweight title, currently held by unbeaten Swede, Anthony Yigit, who defends against Britain’s Joe Hughes in December.