Fight Camp, Brentwood - Zelfa Barrett stopped Romania's Viorel Simion in four rounds to potentially set up a rematch with Kiko Martinez later this year.
The Manchester man dominated from the opening bell, forcing Simion back with hurtful shots that were landing at will.
“It was good to get back out there, a long layoff since February, an active fighter is a god fighter,” Barrett told Matchroom.
“As you guys know, my mum passed away in June, so we’ve had a lot going on. I wanted to just go in there and tear him apart, professionally, but they put the reigns on me. Sometimes I was eager to go and wanted to unload on him, but my uncle is the greatest coach, I just listened to what he was saying. He was taking punishment and he didn’t continue the fight. I was putting more pressure on and letting my hands go.
“It’s a thing of believing in yourself, I know I’ve got the punch power and when you hit correct it hurts anybody. We were working on it with the body pad before we came out and the shots just landed, and he went down. The right body shot would hurt any man, so it was about following what I’ve been practicing in the changing rooms – good performance after a long layoff.
“There are some good fighters on this card, I believe I’m one of the best fighters in Britain aside your World Champions, I believe it and I believe in myself otherwise I wouldn’t be here. That fight had to finish like that, if it went 8 rounds, I’d have to be questioning myself as a fighter that’s going to be world champion.
“He wasn’t able to continue, he quit, no disrespect to him but he quit. Making a man quit is better than any knockout because his brain hasn’t shut down, the ref hasn’t jumped in, he’s physically quit. Good little fight, good little stoppage.
“I’m doing it for myself because I want to be a successful man, that’s all I want to be, believe in God and God will make that happen. I’ve got more motivation, my beautiful daughter Amelia and my beautiful mum on me, my brother, and my cousin Wayne, I’ve got three angels watching me. Onto the next one now and thanks to everyone for watching.
“It was better than nothing, I would love to be on about 8 o’clock just looking out, it just brings something out of a fighter that you didn’t think you had. I don’t know, I just love it, you can’t buy that, that feeling that you get, that’s when I’ve had my best performances when there are crowds, and I can feel their energy.
“I’d love that fight [Kiko] in Manchester, I respect Kiko as a person, he’s a cool guy. He believed he won, I know I won, the judges thought I won. We can run it again because I want to, not because anyone else wants to, but because I want to. We can run that again and I’ll look good doing it.
“I’ve just got to keep doing what I’m doing, don’t get me wrong the European Titles out there I’d love to get, because you know you’re ready for that jump. We can’t cherry pick, Eddie’s a man who gives you opportunities and you’ve got to be ready. I’d love a shot at the European, but now I’m just going to rest, spend time with my beautiful daughter. Daddy’s a champ and I’m her champ, on to the next.”