Dominic Breazeale stopped fellow American Eric Molina at the Barclays Center on Saturday night to edge closer to a second world title shot.
Breazeale, 32, continued his winning streak following a stoppage defeat to Anthony Joshua back in June 2016 and he floored Molina, another Joshua victim, in the eighth before the Texan’s corner pulled him out at the end of the period.
The contest was an eliminator for the WBC world title currently held by Deontay Wilder.
Both men started the heavyweight tussle intent on getting an early knockout, loading up and winging in wild shots to begin a somewhat messy and wild affair.
Californian Breazeale, nicknamed ‘Trouble’, did perhaps get the better of the opening rounds, using his jab to take command of the bout.
Still though, Molina, 35, had other ideas and despite being reckless at times, he continued to let rip some huge shots that occasionally found a home.
As the fight passed the midway stage it continued to be fairly even, both fighters having success, but then in the eighth, a clubbing right hand from Breazeale forced the Texan to take a knee.
‘Drummer Boy’ cut an exhausted figure as he returned to his feet and ‘Trouble’ mercilessly went on the hunt before the bell finally stopped the relentless assault.
Molina’s corner decided that their charge had taken enough damage and refused to send him out for the ninth.