Fabio Wardley was honest.

The British heavyweight prospect admitted Eric Molina buzzed him with a right hand barely 10 seconds before Wardley emphatically ended their scheduled 10-round fight Saturday night in Gibraltar. Molina drilled Wardley with a right hand to his jaw that wobbled Wardley and made him move toward the ropes.

The 26-year-old Wardley responded about as well as his handlers could’ve hoped by blasting Molina with a short left inside that knocked out the veteran heavyweight. That shot sent Molina flat on his back.

Referee Mark Lyson counted Molina out 52 seconds into the fifth round on the Alexander Povetkin-Dillian Whyte undercard at Europa Point Sports Complex.

“Look, you can hit me,” Wardley told Sky Sports. “I took it well. I didn’t go nowhere. I was still there, still moving nicely, still bouncing, still moving. That’s fine. Don’t get me wrong, I felt it. And this is the test I needed, someone to hit me, someone to put it on me, someone who’s not gonna let me off the hook. And I’ll let you know that, ‘Look, I’ll meet you in there if you wanna go. If you wanna go toe-to-toe, then that’s what happens to you.”

Wardley (11-0, 10 KOs), of Ipswich, England, appreciates that the experienced Molina pushed him more than any of his first 10 professional foes. The 6-feet-5, 232½-pound Wardley knows he needs to learn while taking incremental steps such as these during his ascent from prospect toward becoming a contender.

“I’m by no means the finished article,” Wardley said. “I’ve still got a lot to learn, and that’s why we need fights like that, because in other fights that I’ve had, when I’ve hit people, I’ve stuck it on them, they’ve gone missing, whereas Molina, he didn’t go missing until we really had to dig it out. So, there was a few lessons there for us to watch back, for us to tick off and go back to the drawing board with and figure out. But that’s the whole point in this kind of fight, in this stage of my career.”

The 38-year-old Molina (27-7, 19 KOs) lost by knockout for the fourth time in his past six fights. The Weslaco, Texas, resident has been knocked out seven times overall during his 14-year, 34-fight pro career, but he managed to draw Wardley into a difficult fight.

“Look, my corner weren’t too happy,” Wardley said, “because sometimes I get a little bit – not lose my head, but I get a little bit bored with playing the long game and waiting it through and the tactics side. And my heart won over a bit, and I got stuck into a little bit of a war. But I showed there that if you wanna go toe-to-toe with me, I’ll take you on and we can go for it.”

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