On Saturday night at York Hall, Callum Johnson (19-1, 14 KOs) was forced to go to war to pick up a second round stoppage of Emil Markic (32-3, 24 KOs).
Johnson was rocked bad and nearly went down, but he rallied to score a brutal stoppage of Markic in the second round.
The win snapped a long streak of inactivity. Johnson last saw action in March 2019 when he demolishing Sean Monaghan inside three rounds.
It was his first bout under new promoter Frank Warren, after deciding to part ways with Eddie Hearn of Matchroom.
Now Johnson wants a crack at newly crowned WBO light heavyweight champion Joe Smith, who recently captured the belt with a decision win over Maxim Vlasov.