Tyrone McCullagh took a step closer to an Irish featherweight title fight with the most impressive victory of his career so far at the Europa Hotel on Saturday night.
Londonderry man McCullagh made it five straight wins when he stopped Nicaraguan Edwin Tellez in the fourth round, and that came just 24 hours after fellow county man Conor Coyle made a successful debut in Florida, stopping Euris Silverio of the Dominican Republic in the first round.
McCullagh dominated from the opening round in this all southpaw duel, using his height and reach to control the action, and delivered a stinging right hand to floor Tellez at the end of the first.
Tellez showed plenty of heart and tried to put McCullagh under pressure at the start of the second, but to no avail as he walked into smart single counter shots.
Tellez proved to be competitive but was always second best, and referee John Lowey decided he had seen enough in the fourth round, a wise stoppage despite the protestations of the Nicaraguan's corner.
"This was probably my best performance to date as a pro," said McCullagh. "He was the toughest opponent I've fought as well. He didn't seem in too much bother but the ref thought otherwise. I'd be delighted if I won the Irish title but Celtic, British, European, any of those titles would be good."
Belfast lightweight Paul Hyland rumbled his way to a 13th straight victory when he outpointed Nelson Altamirano 80-71 over eight rounds.
Hyland, who floored his opponent in the third, is now overdue a serious test to see if he has what it takes to move into contention for at least a Celtic lightweight title shot.
Also on the show, Coalisland lightweight Fergal McCrory outpointed Bulgarian Ivailo Boyanov over four rounds 40-37 to notch his third straight win.
Meanwhile, 2014 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Coyle is expected back in the ring on November 5 at the National Stadium in Dublin.