Lee Selby stopped Joel Brunker to win his featherweight world title eliminator at the O2 Arena in London.
The Welshman outclassed his Australian opponent with the referee stepping in late in the ninth round.
The 27-year-old's win over the previously unbeaten Brunker earns him a meeting with Russia's IBF world champion Evgeny Gradovich.
British and Commonwealth champion Selby vacated his European title to clear the way for a shot at a world title.
Selby went on the offensive from the first bell and used his speed well until shaking Brunker with a straight right and an uppercut in the fifth round.
But Brunker, who sparred with Selby at Floyd Mayweather's Las Vegas gym two years ago, regained a little ground over the next couple of rounds despite some damage above his right eye.
A huge body shot from Selby in the ninth was the prelude to the decisive combination of punches from the Barry fighter that saw referee Marcus McDonnell step in to end the fight.
"I've been guilty of coasting through my fights because I've been finding it so easy," Selby told Sky Sports. "But this was a final eliminator. I had to prove I was ready to fight for a world title."
Olympic champion Anthony Joshua made it nine wins out of nine professional fights with a brutal second-round stoppage of Denis Bakhtov.
The 24-year-old heavyweight, who took Olympic gold at London 2012, claimed the WBC international title with his comprehensive victory over the Russian.