Fabio Wardley wanted a much more convincing victory over Michael Coffie than he produced Saturday night.

Wardley stopped Coffie after throwing a flurry of punches at him while Coffie was backed into the ropes early in the fourth round of their 10-round heavyweight fight on the Anthony Joshua-Jermaine Franklin undercard at O2 Arena in London. While Wardley caught Coffie with some of those punches, Coffie seemingly slipped enough of those shots to warrant being allowed to continue.

Referee Howard Foster still stepped between them and halted the action 45 seconds into the fourth round. Coffie immediately protested Foster’s decision and pushed the referee off of him immediately following the controversial stoppage.

“Yeah, slightly,” Wardley said when DAZN’s Ade Oladipo asked afterward if their fight was stopped too soon. “Coffie is a really experienced operator. He’s slippery, tricky, can ride some shots, so he was probably still half there. But what was left in the round, maybe [two minutes and 15 seconds], I’d have finished it off. So, [DAZN’s] Tony [Bellew] might be bang on with [Foster] stealing my thunder a bit, but either way, the job’s done.”

England’s Wardley enhanced his record to 16-0 and recorded his 15th knockout. Coffie (13-4, 10 KOs), of Kissimmee, Florida, lost for the fourth time in his past five fights, but he boxed well with Wardley prior to the stoppage.

The 6-foot-5, 242-pound Wardley clipped Coffie with a right hand barely 30 seconds into the fourth round. Wardley unloaded a barrage of punches while Coffie was backed into the ropes, but Coffie slipped some of those shots and didn’t appear badly hurt when Foster decided he had seen enough.

Coffie countered Wardley with a left hook that landed with just under 30 seconds to go in the third round. Wardley again had difficulty catching Coffie with flush punches in that third round.

A sweeping left hook by Coffie caught Wardley with just under 1:20 on the clock in the second round. Coffie defended himself well in the second round, too.

Coffie connected with a short, left hook on the inside with just about a minute to go in the opening round. Wardley hit Coffie with a right hand that backed him into the ropes a little less than 40 seconds into their bout.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.