Deontay Wilder has called out Kiwi WBO champion Joseph Parker for a world heavyweight unification fight after the American extended his unbeaten record today.
Wilder, the WBC champion, beat Gerald Washington with a fifth-round knockout in Birmingham, Alabama, but it wasn't an impressive performance.
At the time of his knockout win, the man known as the Bronze Bomber was ahead on one judge's scorecard and even with Washington on the cards of the other two.
In the fifth round he put Washington on the canvas with a right cross, left hook combination, and finished it with a left hook when Washington got to his feet, but he was subdued in the earlier rounds as his opponent dictated the pace and landed by far the more power punches.
In an interview in the ring after his win, Wilder said his wish was to fight Parker as soon as possible.
"I'm ready for Joseph Parker," he said. "The question is... is he ready for me? I've done my part Joseph Parker, now it's time to do yours."
Parker will make the first defence of his title against Englishman Hughie Fury in a fight originally scheduled for April 1 but now more likely to be held in early May. It will probably be held in Auckland, but that, along with other details, has yet to be announced.
The 25-year-old Parker, who is based in Las Vegas, did not follow through with his plan to enter the ring following Wilder's win and announce an alliance of sorts in order to build the profile of boxing in the United States, but he did meet with the powerful puncher.
In a video posted by Parker's promoters Duco Events, Wilder and Parker are seen embracing following the fight, with the American commenting about how much he is looking forward to travelling to New Zealand.
Asked by Parker's trainer Kevin Barry about how his hands were after the fight, Wilder, who has previously been forced to come back from a broken right hand, replied: "Oh it's wonderful, it's good."
Earlier, heavyweight Izu Ugonoh, Parker's stablemate, suffered a shock knockout loss to Dominic Breazeale in an incredible all-action fight.
It was Ugonoh's first fight under new promoter Al Haymon and he was clearly eager to impress against his American opponent Breazeale, who was beaten by IBF champion Anthony Joshua last year. It was Ugonoh's first defeat as a professional.
Ugonoh, trained by Kevin Barry, controlled the first two rounds with his superior jab and body punching, but appeared too keen to make a statement with a spectacular finish and it was that recklessness which cost him.
In the third round, easily one of the best of the heavyweight scene this year, he was knocked down by the bigger Breazeale, but rallied and responded with big right hands which caused swelling under the American's left eye. Breazeale also hit him after the bell, an act ignored by the referee.
In the fourth round Ugonoh knocked down Breazeale, but in a bid to finish the fight appeared to over-extend himself and he finished the round exhausted.
Breazeale made him pay early in the fifth round, knocking him down twice with powerful round hands, the final time through the ropes. Presumably up on the judges' scorecards, it was a devastating way for Ugonoh's evening to finish.
In a non-televised earlier fight, Kiwi Junior Fa extended his record to 10-0 with a TKO win over American Keith Barr. It was Fa's first fight under new promoter Lou Di Bella.