Aberdeen-trained boxer John Docherty announced his professional arrival with a devastating 18-second stoppage – and warned his punching power is getting stronger.
Such was the rapid speed of super-middleweight Docherty’s stoppage of Jordan Latimer it created waves around the world.
Although officially registered as 18 seconds, it took just six seconds from Docherty first throwing a punch for Latimer to drop to the canvas.
Deeply concerned about his boxer, corner man Willie McNama immediately threw in the towel.
Ominously Docherty insisted his punching power is increasing and he aims to show that when he boxes again on Friday November 30 in Florence, Italy.
Docherty said: “I have been getting a lot of hype after that quick stoppage so it is important I just keep myself grounded.
“I am a completely different fighter now to what I was in the amateurs.
“If someone can last the rounds with me I will show everyone what I am about. My trainer Tony (Sims) has turned me from an amateur fighter to a pro fighter and I am hitting much better.
“In the pros I don’t sit on my shots and punch a lot harder.
“It was a very good debut and I am looking forward to the future.”
Latimer, 20, later revealed he had “no recollection” of the bout against Docherty at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle where he suffered a fractured cheek bone and damage to his nose and ear drum.
The previously undefeated Irish fighter, who took the bout at just four days notice, was troubled by double vision, blurring to his sight and balance problems in the aftermath of the stoppage.
It was 18 seconds that was a sobering reminder of the ever present dangers of boxing.
Latimer underwent a CT scan and couldn’t spar for 28 days.
Docherty said: “Everyone was asking why they chucked the towel in so early in the fight, but I heard that he had gone to hospital and suffered a broken eye socket, pierced ear drum and damaged nose.
“I was surprised at the damage I did as I only threw four punches.”
In the immediate aftermath of that brutal debut stoppage, Eddie Hearn, who had signed Commonwealth bronze medallist Docherty to his Matchroom Boxing stable, confirmed at ring-side that the 21-year-old’s next fight would be in the United States.
Docherty was initially scheduled to box in Atlanta City on the same bill as three-weight world champion Ricky Burns, who also trains under Sims in Essex.
That trip across the Atlantic has been cancelled, at the request of Docherty’s trainer Tony Sims, with a bout in Italy then set up.
Fellow Scot Burns also withdrew from the Atlantic City bill and subsequently fought, and won, on the undercard of Tony Bellew’s undisputed world cruiserweight title defeat to Oleksandr Usyk in Manchester last weekend.
Docherty had hoped to fight on that bill, broadcast live on pay-per-view on Sky Sports, but is now focused on his fight in Italy at the Teatro Obi Hall, Florence.
In Italy he will compete on the under-card of former European, Commonwealth and British champion Martin Ward’s clash with Devis Boschiero for the vacant WBC International Silver super-featherweight title.
Docherty said: “After that stoppage Eddie (Hearn) said that was what he expected of me.
“He was pleased for me and said I was going to fight in America. Eddie wasn’t the one who took me off the show in America. It was my trainer, who didn’t want me to go all the way over on a 12-hour flight for just four rounds.
“Ricky Burns was supposed to fight on that show in America as well but got moved to Manchester.
“I tried to get on that show as well but it was too busy.
“Instead they set up a fight in Italy which will be a great experience, as it is on the same bill with Martin Ward.
“Training has been going very well and I am looking forward to fighting out in Italy.”
On that Florence bill, former British super-lightweight champion Joe Hughes will face Andrea Scarpa for the vacant European title. As part of the Team GB podium scheme Docherty was backed as a potential medallist for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Having turned to pro boxing with the same Matchroom team that oversee four-belt world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, Docherty is determined to rocket up the ranks to achieve a status where he will be fighting for major belts.
He said: “Ultimately a world title is my main goal.
“I also want to win a British title outright. I know for a fact I am good enough to win a British title now.”