Nikita Tszyu has had the final say and captured the Australian super-welterweight title with a devastating TKO victory over “The Beaudesert Storm” Dylan Biggs.
After a heated, at-times ugly build-up, the much-anticipated showdown lived up to its billing as the domestic fight of the year when Tszyu climbed from the canvas to win in brutal fashion.
A smirking Biggs dropped Tszyu inside the opening 45 seconds with two heavy rights, but the challenger recovered to pound his rival literally into submission.
Biggs did well to survive a relentless bashing from “The Butcher” in the fourth round before the referee stopped the fight late in the fifth as Biggs’ team prepared to throw in the towel.
The victory extended 25-year-old Tszyu’s record to 8-0, with six of his wins coming via knockout.
In the co-main event, Issac Hardman restored his reputation as “The headsplitter” with a punishing TKO victory over Troy Coleman to claim the vacant WBO Intercontinental middleweight title.
After winning his first 13 professional fights, Hardman had lost two of his past three to Michael Zerafa and Rohan Murdock before hitting back with a vengeance.
Coleman was saved by the bell after copping a barrage in the fourth round before the referee wisely stopped the fight early in the fifth.
Earlier, Brandon “The Bull” Grach delivered the Australian knockout of the year to upset the previously undefeated Liam Talivaa in an explosive heavyweight bout.
Grach, a one-time teenage amateur prodigy who only returned to the ring in September after a 13-year boxing hiatus, ended Talivaa’s night just four seconds into the second round with a thunderous left hook.
There were concerns for Talivaa as he lay prone, motionless on the canvas after being knocked out cold, but he eventually came to.
Talivaa was caught out prematurely celebrating with a throat-slitting gesture after dropping Grach in the first round.
But in a major statement to heavyweight top dogs Justis Huni and Joe Goodall, Grach responded almost immediately to send Talivaa crashing to the floor with a big right late in the opening round, then again early in the second.