Anthony Joshua continued his remarkable start to his professional career by knocking out Jason Gavern inside three rounds at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle.
Joshua, the London 2012 super-heavyweight gold medallist knocked, down his game, but overmatched, opponent four times en route to his 11th straight win in the paid ranks, none of which have gone beyond three rounds.
Gavern showed plenty of heart in getting up three times but never looked like causing what would have been a huge shock against Joshua, who faces former world title challenger Kevin Johnson next month at London's O2 Arena.
It was not all plain sailing for the Watford heavyweight, though, who admitted afterwards that he was on occasions frustrated by Gavern's spoiling tactics.
"Jason Gavern [was a] very awkward opponent, slippy customer, he's there to make me look bad and I think he did a good job of that," Joshua told Sky Sports.
"At the end of the day, I've got a job to do and that's get a win. Hopefully if I can start pushing to British titles, European, step by step, these fights won't really mean anything when I'm experienced and I'm a champion."
Joshua was returning to the ring for the first time since stopping Michael Sprott in November last year, with a stress fracture of the back the reason for his lengthy absence.
He jolted his opponent with a left hook in the opening round although Gavern showed all his experience in frustrating his younger foe.
Gavern, competing in his 50th fight, did hit the mat midway through the second after a short straight left although the 37-year-old complained he had taken a blow to the back of his head.
He was on the canvas again after a brutal right hand followed by another left found its mark, but Gavern got up and defiantly raised his right hand.
He was merely delaying the inevitable, though, and a flurry early in the third had him down once more before Joshua finished the job with yet another punishing left, as Gavern (26-20-4) was this time unable to beat the count.