Ryan Garcia was carried to the ring on a throne – then produced a performance fit for a king to stop Luke Campbell.
The popular young American was determined to prove he is more than an ‘Instagram boxer’ against the experienced Brit.
But he looked to have bitten off more than he could chew when he was dumped on the canvas by a vicious left hook in the second round.
Garcia recovered well however and began to turn the tide before his own left hook left Campbell crumpled on the canvas.
The Brit was unable to beat the count and the referee waved the fight off.
“I showed a lot of people what I am,” said Garcia. “I wanted to show that whatever they call you, you’re not who people tell you you are, you are who you want to be and I chose to be a champion tonight.
“I’ve never been dropped in my life; I think I got too excited. I felt in control and I thought i could crack him but he cracked me.
“I knew i could beat him, I just had to get back up and show everybody what a warrior can do.”
Olympic champion Campbell, 33, was bidding to earn a third world title shot having fallen short against Jorge Linares and, in his last fight, Vasyl Lomachenko.
In the opposite corner, knockout artist Garcia was taking a considerable step up having completed just one round in his last three fights.
Now sharing a trainer in Eddie Reynoso with four-weight world champion Canelo Alvarez, the 22-year-old had been hyped as boxing’s next superstar.
And after his cringeworthy entrance, it was Garcia who made the aggressive start, jabbing Campbell to the body before unleashing his dangerous left hook upstairs.
But Campbell dropped the unbeaten social media star in the second session with a crunching left hook of his own.
Garcia appeared to shrug off the knockdown but he looked susceptible to the visitor’s counters.
Campbell continued to whip his left hand into Garcia’s body in the fourth round while Garcia switched his focus to his right.
But it was his left hook which finally paid dividends when he landed one on the bell for the end of the fifth round which left Campbell on shaky legs.
The youngster smelled blood as he raced from his corner at the start of the sixth session – but Campbell rode the storm to leave the fight on a knife edge at the halfway point.
Garcia seized the initiative in the seventh round when he crunched Campbell’s ribs and forced him to take a knee.
The Brit remained on the canvas as Garcia’s celebrations began in ernest.