TOMMY Coward produced the most exciting performance of his professional career so far to overwhelm Liam Griffiths inside two blistering minutes.
The Swinton welterweight was unrelenting as he disposed of Griffiths with an aggressive and slick assault, earning a career first stoppage in one minute 40 seconds of the first round.
Talk before the bout was of pushing the 26-year-old into the title picture early next year and he justified that with his demolition job.
Griffiths’ four defeats from five fights record may not exactly be ground breaking but Coward’s display was certainly impressive and would have troubled fighters of a higher class.
It was the exciting performance onlookers have been waiting to see from Coward since he joined the professional ranks.
While he turned up the heat in his debut in March last year, with opponent Billy Graham retiring after two rounds due to a broken nose, Coward has rarely managed to show that ruthless streak, instead providing skilfully competent displays without being thrilling.
But on Friday at Doncaster Dome, Coward provided the fireworks the day before Bonfire Night.
Griffiths looked like he wanted a way out of the contest almost straight away, particularly when he slumped to the mat after Coward landed a crushing right hook to the body just a few seconds in.
The Bognor Regis fighter stayed on his knees until referee Michael Alexander reached the nine count and his enthusiasm for the bout did not get much stronger.
Coward jumped straight back on top of Griffiths, forcing him back on the ropes where he landed another crushing right to the body.
Griffiths managed to find space to get off the ropes but Coward caught him on the retreat.
A stiff left stunned Griffiths and sparked a barrage of shots from Coward with Alexander stepping in to wave the contest off.