By Elliot Foster
Paddy Barnes outlined his credentials as a major player in the second tier of the flyweight division with a crushing stoppage.
The three-time Olympian got rid of Eliecer Quezada by count out in round six, exclusively live on BT Sport and BoxNation.
Barnes is now 5-0 after the win, which was undoubtedly his best performance in the pro code to date.
With victory ‘The Leprechaun’ added the vacant WBO Inter-Continental title to his European belt owned by the same sanctioning body.
And he will now be looking to push on to the next level –– looking towards a potential world title shot –– as soon as possible.
The 30-year-old finished the fight, which was infested with fouls, with a beautiful left hook to the body, forcing Quezada of Nicaragua –– who had only previously been stopped twice –– to the canvas for the second time in the fight.
And Jono Carroll added the IBF’s Inter-Continental crown to his European bauble under the same body with a stoppage win.
The Dubliner, nicknamed ‘King Kong’, beat down Humberto de Santiago for three rounds –– as well as being warned for two low blows and use of the head –– before referee Phil Edwards spared the visitor any further punishment by calling a halt to proceedings after two minutes and 16 seconds of the round.
Alex Dickinson maintained his undefeated ledger in Belfast –– but was extended the distance for the first time.
The 30-year-old heavyweight was delighted to get another victory on the undercard of Carl Frampton’s homecoming at the SSE Arena.
Dickinson, fighting in the Northern Irish capital for the second time since turning professional back in June, outpointed Milen Paunov over four rounds.
“I was hoping I could put on a bit of a better performance, if I’m honest,” Dickinson, whose fight was screened exclusively live on BoxNation, told Boxing Scene shortly after his 40-36 win.
Dickinson’s fight –– his first since getting a stoppage on the undercard of Hughie Fury’s unsuccessful challenge of Joseph Parker for the WBO heavyweight title at Manchester Arena back in September –– came as a live float after adopted Scouser Zolani Tete iced fellow South African Siboniso Gonya inside 11 seconds of the first round to retain his WBO bantamweight crown in scintillating style.
“I was hoping that he’d open up a bit more, so that I could get my shots off, but it is what it is,” he added. "A win is a win.
“His head was hard and he was a massive pain in the a**e, but I can’t thank the guys at MTK and Frank Warren enough for getting me on another massive world title show and on TV again.
“It’s on to the next one now and we’re hoping for some news soon.”