ROTHERHAM'S Kash Ali served notice of his intent in the heavyweight division by dismantling tough Czech Tomas Salek to win the vacant IBF European crown.
Referee Howard Foster waved the fight off in the third round after Salek was floored for the second time from a searing upper cut.
The Czech arrived for the outdoors show at the Sheffield Arena with a reputation as a big hitter but ran into a sharp and well conditioned Ali.
After getting the measure of his man in the opening round, Ali busted Salek's nose in the second round and then had him down.
Salek continued to plough game forward, walking onto some stiff jabs and unable to fend off Ali's upper cuts when up close.
A nasty eye cut in the third round added to his problems before Ali finished the job in what was his fourth win since serving a suspension for biting David Price two years ago.
The European crowns comes in his 20th pro fight and gives the 29-year-old, trained by Richard Towers in Rotherham, a world ranking and a platform to bigger things.
"It feels great," said Ali. "I paced myself a bit and landed a shot we've been working on in the gym and got him out of there.
"I feel like I'm coming into my prime now. I'm a threat to anyone in the heavyweight division."