Peter McGrail broke the spirit of Alexander Espinoza and forced a sixth-round stoppage with a masterclass display in front of his fans.
The majestic McGrail dropped the tough Nicaraguan with a peach of a backhand in round four at Probellum Liverpool II at the Eventim Olympia and continued to systematically dismantle his experienced rival.
McGrail, one of the stand-out world amateurs of his generation, was ready to dish out further punishment at the start of round six but Espinoza’s corner threw in the towel and retired their forlorn fighter.
A proud son of Liverpool, McGrailmoves to 5-0 (4 KOS) as a pro having made the sternest test of his career appear impressively straightforward.
McGrail said: “This was my first time topping a bill and the crowd were unbelievable.
“I thought it was a good performance, it wasn’t 10 out of 10, but overall, I am happy. It was a step-up on paper so I’m happy to get him out of there, because he went 10 rounds with Kash Farooq last year.
“I am overwhelmed by the support and can’t wait for the next one already!”
Jazza Dickens won the vacant IBO world featherweight title after a hard fought 12 rounds with tough South African Lerato Dlamini.
Dickens has twice failed in his attempts to win world titles, but it was third time lucky for the popular 31-year-old, who was awarded the win on all three of the judges’ scorecards.
Roared on by huge support, Dickens was given the win 115-113, 115-113 and 116-112 by the officials and will now target the biggest fights in the division, against Leigh Wood and Josh Warrington.
An emotional Dickens said: “I have been working for this for 18 long hard years.
“But I did it with my fans, we did it together. Tonight, I am going to celebrate with everyone in Liverpool.”
Steven Cairns extended his perfect professional record by controlling his six-round fight with Angelo Turco. Cairns, who won 60-53 on the scorecards, said: “The holding from Turco was a little bit frustrating but this is boxing and that is just another bit of experience.”
Joe McGrail came through the “toughest fight” of his fledgling career, as he survived a cut and a damaged hand to record a clear points win.
McGrail defeated Nicaraguan Alexander Taylor 59-55, with brother Peter watching on from ringside, to move to 6-0, but 19-year-old Joe said that didn’t tell the whole story.
He sustained a cut by the side of his left eye and hurt his hand, both in the second round.
McGrail said: “It was the toughest fight I’ve had so far as a pro. “In the second round I got a cut after an accidental elbow and then, in the same round I’ve hurt my right hand. I didn’t throw it much after that, my coach told me to feint with it and throw it to the body, where it was soft.”
Undercard Results: Frankie Stringer 40-36 Lee Hallett Blane Hyland 60-54 Mikey Young John Edwards 40-36 Simas Volosinas