Kye Mackenzie's power eventually proved too much for Matt Garlett last night as the West Australian boxer suffered a seventh-round TKO loss in Newcastle.
Garlett had planned to test Mackenzie's stamina by taking him into the later rounds but instead it was Garlett who ran out of steam after being forced to stand and trade.
Garlett had some success but a slugfest was always likely to favour unbeaten Mackenzie, who has now stopped nine of his 11 victims.
And as Garlett started to slow down, the NSW fighter put him down in round seven before referee Les Fear stepped in to call off the fight.
"Matty was made to fight the other kid's fight," trainer Angelo Hyder said. "He (Mackenzie) is a big, strong kid and he got Matty tired.
"Matty rocked him in the very first round and had him wobbling. He certainly hurt him a few times. But the other kid was strong."
Hyder said a five-month lay-off following his last outing had told on Garlett. This fight was originally for Mackenzie's Australian super-featherweight belt but that was changed last week after Garlett realised he would not make the 59kg limit safely.
"The time away from the gym caught up with him but Matty's not discouraged, in fact he hopes to have a rematch with the kid down at super-featherweight," Hyder said.
"He could have sat at home and done nothing but he's got more out of coming into the other bloke's backyard and having a good, hard fight. Matty wants to go straight back in."
This was Garlett's second stoppage loss in succession - he was halted in four rounds by Filipino Ryan Sermona when making the first defence of his WBC International title in Perth in December.
"What was encouraging was that Matty got clipped in his last fight but he wasn't shy of standing his ground. In fact the problem was the opposite - he went toe to toe and was trading bombs," Hyder said.
"That's great for the promoter but not for Matty and me."