Kell Brook stopped Amir Khan in the sixth round of a wild fight Saturday night in Manchester.
The bitter rivals shared a war at the AO Arena as Brook hurt Khan several times before forcing a stoppage just before halfway.
Bizarrely, the start of the long-awaited fight was delayed another 15 minutes by a backstage glove dispute as Khan’s team apparently challenged their opponent’s tools.
In notable scenes, Brook did his walk and then changed his gloves in the ring before the first bell.
When he finally got started, the fight started off with a wild opener as Khan threw a few searing combinations at his rival, proving that his famous hand speed hadn’t deteriorated.
Brook remained patient with his jab, then nailed Khan with a hard jab.
Khan staggered around the ring, but somehow stayed on his feet.
Brook hurt him again moments later with a right hand, but couldn’t do enough to crush Khan, who survived the round.
At the start of the second, Khan appeared to have recovered and hit Brook with a quick combination, but he was clearly wary of his foe’s power.
The pair traded blows at a blistering pace, with Khan looking to get the better of most of the exchanges.
In round three, Khan continued on the front foot.
Brook was confused by his opponent’s speed and found himself unable to land consistently as swelling appeared under his left eye.
However, at the end of the third, Brook pinned Khan again with a right hand and staggered him around the ring again until he was saved by the bell.
Khan started fast in the fourth as the same pattern took shape.
Brook responded with consistent jabs and dominated the rest of the session.
Khan was at the end of another fifth-round shoot-off.
Although his chin has been questioned over the years, he showed incredible heart to even stay upright as he approached the halfway mark.
Brook knocked out Khan early in the sixth, and this time the writing was really on the wall.
Khan was again on unsteady legs and soon after referee Victor Loughlin stepped in to end the fight.
Brook reacted after the fight: “I always knew this was coming.
“What a feeling, what participation, these are the fights I wanted to be involved in when I walked into the gym as a kid.
“Bragging rights, king in the north. I’m back on top now, knocked out Amir Khan, like I said.
“I put a lot of pressure on myself.
“I always knew when I was 18 that I was a better fighter than him.
“I always knew that and tonight the fans got to see a mega fight and I dealt with him.”