Chris Kongo is the new WBO Global welterweight champion after a ninth-round knockout of Luther Clay.
The South Londoner, 27, dropped his opponent late in the contest.
Kongo had not boxed since April 2019 but returned on the undercard of the Dillian Whyte-Alexander Povetkin showdown on the Matchroom Fight Camp event.
Clay was hurt in the seventh round and Kongo unleashed a stream of punches as he tried to finish his man off.
The finish did come in the ninth as again the challenger let his shots go with two left hooks dropping Clay – his corner throwing in the towel.
Kongo is now 12-0. Clay’s record drops to 13-2.
“First of all I want to thank God for this victory,” said Kongo.
“It has been 16 months since I last boxed. I’ve waited for the opportunity and here I am. There was no way I was leaving that ring without this belt around my waist. I was willing to die in there, I’m telling you. There was no way I was leaving that ring without the belt.
“I knew I had the speed, I had the power, I just had to go in there and pace myself. Like I said, it has been 16 months since I last got in the ring so it felt kind of new to me. In the first rounds I was trying to feel him out but then when it got into the middle rounds I hurt him. I knew before the fight ended I was going to get him out of there and that’s what I did.
“We’ve been working on a lot of things. Power was one of the attributes I have been working closely on. I’ve been working closely with my strength and conditioning coaches Nathan and Tyrone, but also when we’re in the boxing gym it is all boxing based with Jim.
“I want to defend the belt next. Look what I did there with 16 months out of the ring. Imagine when I’m fighting regularly what I’m going to do to these guys. I have full confidence in myself. I believe that I can be one of the best contenders in the world at welterweight. I believe that I am the best welterweight in the division in the UK.”
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