Anthony Joshua maintained his perfect knockout record with a third round stoppage win over Eric Molina.
The British heavyweight ends 2016 as he began it, as the IBF champion and heads into the new year on the cusp of challenging for multiple world titles.
The introduction of the main event had the crowd on their feet, but the announcement of Joshua’s arrival in the ring took the roof off the Manchester Arena.
Joshua set the pace from the off and was in Molina’s face as he attempted to show his challenger what he was famous for.
Anthony Joshua undercard results
Marcus Morrison def. Harry Matthews – unanimous decision
Conor Benn def. Steve Backhouse – KO first round
Luis Ortiz def. David Allen – KO seventh round
Frank Buglioni def. Hosea Burton – KO 12 round
Khalid Yafai def. Luis Conception – unanimous decision
Scott Quigg def. Jose Cayetano – unanimous decision
Katie Taylor def. Viviane Obenauf – unanimous decision
Dillian Whyte def. Dereck Chisora – split decision
The crowd sang Joshua’s name and soon they were cheering loudly as a fierce jab had Molina wobbled before a jab uppercut combination sent the Mexican-American backwards.
Joshua tried to unleash, but was caught up by Molina’s arms, for which he got a talking to from the referee.
And soon Joshua showed him exactly what has made him a champion when a left jab straight to the face of Molina sent him crumbling.
He somehow beat the count, but Joshua finished him off when he got back up for a third round knockout.
It was a clinical, powerful performance from Joshua that his fans have now grown accustomed to.
After the fight, one Wladimir Klitschko came into the ring and the announcement everyone was waiting for was made.
Joshua will fight the former heavyweight king of the world on April 29 in Wembley Stadium.