Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez knocked Rocky Fielding down four times in an emphatic third-round stoppage win in New York.
Mexican Alvarez was heavy favourite and brutal left hands to the body dropped the Briton in rounds one and two, all but ending hope of an unlikely upset.
A stinging right to the jaw again downed Fielding in round three, before another left connected with the body, prompting the bout to be waved off.
Alvarez now holds a minor version of the WBA world super-middleweight title.
Despite the status of the WBA’s ‘regular’ title compared to the ‘super’ title Britain’s Callum Smith holds in the same division, Alvarez can now boast being a world champion in three weight divisions.
The 28-year-old still holds the WBC and WBA titles at middleweight – a division lower – and his move up 8lb only ever looked like ending in victory as he broke Fielding’s resolve early on with a savage display of body punching.
“Fortunately for me he came to attack,” said Alvarez. “That was the error he made and I did my thing in there.”