Wollongong boxer Nathan Wright is planning a swift rise up the Australian lightweight rankings after picking up the NSW state title in just his fourth professional bout last week.
The powerful counter-puncher dominated his fight with tough Wagga Wagga brawler Ray Thompson at the Croatian Club, Punchbowl, from the opening bell and dropped his more experienced opponent to the canvas with a short left hook in round four of their scheduled eight-round bout.
Thompson beat the count but a flurry of power shots prompted referee Les Fear to end the bout and declare Wright the winner by TKO.
"He got his range and his timing pretty quickly in the first round and landed some really solid shots," coach Chris Davey said.
"He picked his shots really nicely and counter-punched really well the whole fight. He wobbled him a few times in the second round but, to Ray's credit, he regained his composure pretty quickly and fired back ...
"We changed our tactics in the fourth round and after he dropped him, Nathan jumped on the opportunity to finish it early."
The move into the professional ranks follows a decorated amateur career for Wright, which netted him five state titles and saw him compete in several international bouts.
Wright, who is promoted by Paul Nassari, has shown no signs of a near two-year layoff before turning pro with his record now 4-0 with two stoppages.
Davey said his protege would seek to defend his belt in November before a potential tilt at the Australian belt held by Dubbo's Robert Toomey in the stacked lightweight division early next year.
"This was a great step forward for Nathan after a two-year layoff.
"We're looking to step up a level now," Davey said.
We're looking at some NSW boys and also some others from WA and then we'll look at the Aussie title.
"We're still negotiating with potentially two opponents for a title defence in November and we're planning for an Australian title challenge early next year."