THE RESULT: Dalton Smith announces himself on the world scene knocking out the tough Mexican Jose Zepeda with a body shot in the fifth round.

KEY MOMENTS: Zepeda started confidently in the opening round. The 34-year-old was the hunter and followed the 27-year-old Smith around the ring winging in some big hooks. A pinpoint accurate one-two from Smith in round two, however, settled him down in front of his home fans at the Utilita Arena in Sheffield. From the third session onwards Zepeda fired warning shots, but Smith’s reflexes were on high alert and in the fifth round a right hand landed straight into the mid-section of Zepeda to end the contest.

RECORDS: Dalton Smith’s unbeaten record now reaches 16-0 (12 KOs). Jose Zepeda, who had talked of retirement if he had lost, moves to, 37-5 (28 KOs).

TALKING POINT: Zepeda had been beaten four times in the past, but none were delivered so emphatically. This is a statement win from Dalton Smith and one that marks him down as a world-class contender in the 10-stone division.

QUOTABLE: “A lot of people thought this was too soon for me and I had a couple of dreams where I got knocked out and that’s what made me train harder,” Smith told DAZN having paid tribute to Zepeda beforehand. “I showed where I belong tonight. I do my talking in the ring and I done exactly that tonight.”

Discussing the knockout finish Smith said, “I was hitting with him some clean shots and I remember thinking he’s not budging. I caught him with an uppercut that stunned him a little bit and I thought I know I can hurt you.”

In an uncharacteristic move Smith then called out his biggest domestic rival at 140lbs. “I don’t call many names out, but I’ve got one name. Adam Azim, where you at? There’s one reason why Adam hasn’t vacated that (European super-lightweight) title and that’s because he thought I was going to lose tonight. I bet he vacates now.”

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? Purse bids are due for the Azim-Smith European title fight on April 3 but will Azim, promoted by Ben Shalom, go ahead, or vacate? Smith has made it clear he wants that belt and now the ball is very much in Azim’s court. Zepeda hinted at retirement if he were to lose to Smith and should that now be the case the Mexican would hang the gloves up on a 42-fight career which started on Christmas Day in 2009.