Super middleweight contender Zach Parker 19-0 (13) knocked out Rohan Murdock 24-2 (17) in the 11th round of their clash at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England on Saturday night.
The 25-year-old switch-hitter from Derbyshire started well but by the fourth round the tide began to change with Murdock engaging Parker on the inside.
The fifth and sixth were good rounds for the 28-year-old Australian as he outworked the local fighter and showed good speed to beat Parker to the punch.
Parker got back behind the jab in the seventh and eighth to regain control of the fight and seemed to confuse Murdock when he turned southpaw.
Murdock, the WBO number one contender, had a good showing in the ninth but appeared to be flagging in the 10th round.
Parker took advantage in the 11th, bulling Murdock to the ropes where he hurt him with a series of blows before nailing his back-pedalling opponent with a jarring overhand left that dropped him flat on his back.
Murdock was quickly to his feet but after the mandatory eight count referee Phil Edwards wisely waved off the contest at the official time of 2:58.
“I felt a bit flat at first, but I came on later in the fight and got a good stoppage in the end,” WBO number two Parker said after the fight.
“I thought he was going to come straight forward, but I was being the aggressor in the fight. My boxing abilities did it in the end instead of trying to fight too much.”
With the victory Parker puts himself in line for a shot at WBO 168-pound champion Billy Joe Saunders 29-0 (14), who has recently been linked to a big-money fight against Mexican superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez 53-1-2 (36) on May 2.
“I want the world-title shot as soon as possible,” Parker said. “I should be number one now and mandatory for a world title. If Billy Joe hasn’t got the Canelo fight, I’m ready.”