Josh Taylor's dream of a world title shot remains on course after the Tartan Tornado racked up an impressive points win over Viktor Postol.
The Prestonpans puncher extended his professional record to 13 straight wins as he barged his way to the front of the queue to take on WBC super lightweight champion Jose Ramirez.
The clash at Glasgow's SSE Hydro was a final eliminator to face the American and there was no chance Taylor, 27, was going to let his opportunity slip.
He had to put in a disciplined display against the Ukrainian - himself a former world champion - but the Scot made his mark in the 10th round as he knocked Postol to the floor with a perfectly-timed left hook.
And his efforts were recognised by the judges, who scored him the victor by a handsome 118-110, 117-110, 119-108 margin.
Taylor's promoter Barry McGuigan admitted before the fight he had gambled by throwing his man - second in the WBC's ranking - in with the No 1 contender.
The thinking was that victory would provide a fast-track route to a title shot but there is no doubt Taylor belongs among the elite.
Pound-for-pound king Terence Crawford is the only man to have ever beaten Postol. Taylor made his mark in the 10th round as he knocked Postol to the floor with a brilliant left hook. The 34-year-old survived the count and came back with a quick-flash flurry that momentarily dazed Taylor, but he closed out the contest in confident manner.
Barry McGuigan praised Taylor: “That was a terrific fight, the cards were too wide, we had it for Josh by three or four rounds. He put on a terrific performance down the stretch.
“He’s a very experienced fighter, sparring world class opposition and dominating them, it was risky fight.”
And Taylor praised Postol.
“He was much more awkward than I was expecting, I thought he’d be slower. It just took me five or six rounds to get going. My jab wasn’t flowing, but once I relaxed, I started getting my shots off better," Taylor said.
“He put it on me in the seventh, I switched off, I knew the mistake I made, he hit me right on the button. I used my experience, my brain, to get through. I learned a hell of a lot.”
"I feel I'm on the verge of fulfilling my dream and fighting for a world title. That was playing on my mind a little bit before the fight. I didn't feel any pressure but it was playing in the back of my head that if I won, I'd be fighting for a world title.
"However, I felt I dealt with that well. It was a little bit of a below-par performance. I started very poorly in terms of defence and switched off too much. But I adapted and I definitely think there I can be 20 or 30 percent sharper. I happy enough, though, and the next one will be the big one."