Joshua Buatsi continued his march towards a world title shot with a stunning 11th round knockout win over Ricards Bolotniks in their WBA light heavyweight world title eliminator on the third and final week of Matchroom Fight Camp in Brentwood, Essex.
Last year's MTK Global Golden Contract winner represented the biggest test of Buatsi's career, but the Croydon man passed the test impressively as he maintained his unbeaten record, progressing to 15-0 (13 KOs).
"Most importantly I have to thank God for the victory, different fighters have different things that work for them, I made it clear to you lot that that's what works for me," Buatsi told DAZN.
"In my changing room, I don't need to hear anything, don't tell me what I did in camp, tell me Josh is written in the bible. That's what gears me up when I walk down there, what's written in the bible.
"I'm grateful man, Bolotniks big credit to him he pushed me. I think he said Josh hasn't been past seven rounds before so after seven we'll see. I was there until 11 and landed a good shot. I worked every round, but I want to congratulate him - he's a good champion.
"When I sat down, I said, 'Buatsi who told you to empty the tank, you've got six left?' but I've worked hard. You see in camp the sparring is hard man, big credit to my sparring partners they know who they are. I do a hard six-mile run then a fresh one gets in, so I said I've been here into the second half: I've done it before I've been here many times in camp.
"I've got a great team, I've got a promoter that believes in me, he's been pushing for fights like this because he knows I can do it. Tonight, I went out there and showed people I can do it, we just build from here.
"We all make sacrifices, I don't want to single myself out, everyone sacrifices to be where they want to be in life," Buatsi added. "For me, yeah, I sacrificed, I'm always away from my family and I truly miss them but most importantly I want to get to the top.
"I feel like I'm in the right team with the right people, I've got a great promoter who gives me the opportunities I need. I'll keep sacrificing."
10 x 3 mins International Lightweight Contest
JOE CORDINA WKO1 (0:53) v JOSHUAH HERNANDEZ
Joe Cordina blew away Chicago's Joshuah Hernandez inside the opening round to progress to 13-0 (8 KOs) and continue his pursuit of a World Title opportunity.
'The Welsh Wizard' was intent on causing damage from the opening bell, landing hurtful shots early on before dropping Hernandez with a stunning right hand that he never recovered from.
"Chris Colbert went eight rounds with Hernandez and what I watched of it, it was quite a tough fight for him," Cordina told Matchroom. "I watched that fight and a couple others of Hernadez and me and Tony came up with a game plan. We were going through in the changing rooms, and it came off a peach.
"I had to prove a point, I said in an interview earlier in the week that I don't take criticism from people I wouldn't go to for advice. I don't really value many people's opinions so yeah, it's one of those things, you're going to get people criticizing and it's whether you take it on board or not.
"A lot of people didn't take into consideration that I'd been out the ring for 16 months, had an operation on my hand, we proved the point tonight and got him out of there early on.
"I always look to just get the win, box, if the knockout is there, I'll take it. As soon as he threw his first jab, I knew he wasn't going to catch me with that, my sharpness of feet and head movement would get me out of trouble.
"I started putting my lead hand downstairs and whipping the right hand over the top and I caught him the first time, I knew he was a little bit wobbly. I didn't want to rush in and try and get him out of there straight away, I knew if I could catch him twice with it, there would be a third time, and I did exactly that. We got him out of there in great fashion.
"I was watching Fight Camp last year and there was no crowd, but even when there wasn't a crowd it felt like there was a massive atmosphere. When I saw the first Fight Camp week at home, I thought, 'oh my god I'm fighting there in two weeks, it's going to be amazing. I'm glad that I'm able to tick it off my list now.
"Eddie watched me in York Hall in 2009 and said, 'you're going to be a world champion'. It's nice to hear that but I've got to keep improving, keep pushing on and proving him right. I know I can be a world champion very soon, but I've just got to keep winning.
"I've got the ability to mix it with any of them, it's just about taking those steps up the ladder to become a world champion and that's what I plan on doing. Maybe have two weeks at home, go back to the gym and see what I want to do with Tony.
"I know people say it but if you speak to my S&C coach and Tony this was probably one of the best camps I've ever had. That's with the boxing, plus my S&C, everything just came together.
"Don't get me wrong I had to be at home for my newborn son but everything's coming together now. I'm glad I got the win tonight in great fashion and now it's time to build on it.".