Amir Khan's rejuvenation was confirmed when he outclassed ring legend Marco Antonio Barrera.
The boy from Bolton turned in a blistering display to dominate the proud Mexican from first the very first punch on a pulsating night at the MEN Arena in Manchester.
The victory eventually came in the fifth round, courtesy of an horrific cut cause by a first-round clash of heads, but was inevitable, such was Khan's dominance.
Too fast, too strong, too big and too young even for the great Barrera, he looked every inch the fighter to pull British boxing back from a bad night that had seen Nicky Cook lose his world title and Enzo Maccarinelli his way.
The punch-perfect performance was also a far cry from the stunning first-round loss to Breidis Prescott six months ago and surely signalled Khan's Coming of Age - and arrival on the world title scene.
It also signalled a sade demise for a true great, a nasty clash of heads doing for Barrera as much as his opponent's blistering handspeed. That said, he'd have done well to stave off the younger man with two clear eyes, Khan was that quick.Performance
Just as encouragingly, there was a patience about his approach. In and out, he let punches go in bunches before retreating behind a high guard whereas before he might have stood, admired his work and invariably got tagged back. Freddie Roach has re-invented him and as a reward, got the perfect performance he had asked for.
And also, he showed that he can take a shot at last. Twice Barrera did catch him and twice he absorbed them. Admittedly, they were punches from a 35-year-old moving up to lightweight and in the 73rd fight of a storybook career, but still they didn't shake Khan. He even threw his arms to the air as if to make his point after the second left hook had caught him flush on the chin.
The only disappointment was the way it ended, referee Dave Parris and the ringside physician calling it off at the third time of looking. The cut looked like something from a road accident, but even if it did come from a clumsy clash, Barrera had pretty much been run over from the first bell.
Bizarrely he was booed as he made his way into the ring. Barrera meanwhile was cheered to the rafters as Manchester became Mexico for one night only. But it didn't last, as much as the Manchester fight fans love a legend, they also love a fighter who is good and game. And the boy from Bolton was both.Rejuvenation
It was Barrera though who landed the first real blow of the night, the swivelling left hook to the body that has beaten so many down the years reminding Khan that for all the talk of rejuvenation, he was still in with future Hall of Famer and a man that has been through more world title bouts than he's had professional fights.
The clash of heads aside, the round was slick stuff. Khan popping off a left-right combination before zipping back out of range. Then the size of the cut became clear and soon, the Mexican's face was awash with blood, his left eye a red, blurred mess.
Try as they might, Barrera's corner couldn't stop the bleeding and as soon as the action started up again, Khan was at the cut. Two left jabs rocked his man and then a crunching right showed there is power in both hands. And he had time to land three, four, five punch flurries as the veteran, whether he could see or not, simply couldn't respond.
Khan doubled up that jab at the start and also showed plenty of lateral movement whenever the grizzled old Mexican threatened to fire back. Light on his feet, the 22-year-old was able to keep at a safe distance until he decides to back Barrera up, landing two rights as he pushed him across the ring and onto the ropes.
Blood then spurted up and out of the cut and suddenly it became clear that Khan might not be the official reason for Barrera's seventh professional defeat.Lightning
Halfway through round four, the doctor was called but of course Barrera wanted to box on. Sensing he was on borrowed time for the first time in the fight he launched at Khan, whipping in that left to the ribs as the youngster back-pedalled.
Tellingly, it was a single-punch onslaught, nothing compared to the lightning six-punch combination that had come the other way, seconds earlier.
The fifth was clearly Barrera's last stand and he came out looking for a finish. Even then you found yourself recollecting him harrying Erik Morales across the ring all those years, the left merrily leading the way, the right cocked waiting for its chance to join the charge.
But try as he might, he could not get close and reality soon kicked back in as Khan caught him with left hook to the chin that even he acknowledged.
Then though, the cut was looked at again and all that was left was for Barrera to catch Khan with a right, that he duly absorbed before being told that the fight was over. Blood-stained but unbowed he may have been - and complaining about a butt - but the Mexican will also know he was out-boxed.
The judges thought so too, the cards returning a 50-45, 50-45, 50-44 verdict - one scoring round one 10-8. It will go down as a technical decision in the books and it might even go down as the last time we see Marco Antonio Barrera in a boxing ring, certainly on these shorts.
But it will also go down as the night Amir Khan finally came of age."Sky Sports.
Really gutted I missed this fight and if it wasn't for Box Office charging a stupid amount I would have seen it