Joe Joyce eased to a comfortable victory in his first fight in almost a year to maintain his unbeaten record.
The British heavyweight, 36, forced Christian Hammer to drop to a knee at the end of the third round in London.
Germany’s Hammer had to take a count three more times before being stopped halfway through the fourth round.
Victory saw Joyce retain his WBC silver and WBO international belts and cement his status as the mandatory challenger for the WBO world title.
Joyce, who now has a professional record of 14-0, was caught by Hammer, 34, in the first and second rounds at Wembley Arena.
But the former Olympic silver medallist then landed a string of body shots to halt Hammer, who now has a 27-10 record.
Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk beat Britain’s Anthony Joshua in September to win the WBO, IBF and WBA (Super) titles and their rematch takes place on 20 August.
Joyce hopes to face the winner of that fight, or fellow Briton Tyson Fury, and his promoter Frank Warren said his next fight has already been scheduled for 24 September.
“I enjoyed it so much, it’s good to be back,” said Joyce.
“I’m top level, I’m ready for the world stage. I’ve had my warm-up fight now so I’m ready for action.”
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