Wladimir Klitschko recorded the 50th knockout of his career as he retained his world heavyweight titles with a fourth-round stoppage of Jean-Marc Mormeck.
The Ukrainian’s WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight straps were never in any danger of changing hands during a thoroughly one-sided contest at the ESPIRIT Arena in Dusseldorf.
Klitschko dominated his much smaller opponent from the off before finally putting him away with a crushing right-left combination just after the 10 minute mark.
Mormeck, a former cruiserweight world champion who lost to David Haye in 2007, had said before the bout that he would enter the ring with no fear but never looked as if he believed he could pull off the upset.
Instead Klitschko put on another dominant display to take his professional record to 57-3, with all but seven of those victories coming inside the distance.
The fight began with a series of scrappy exchanges with the champion eager to hold, but by the end of the first round Klitschko was already snapping powerful jabs into the face of the Frenchman.
Early in the second it was already clear that Mormeck faced a hopeless task as he covered up desperately before being dropped to the canvas with a straight right hand.
Mormeck got back to his feet and managed to survive the round but the 50,000-strong crowd sensed that the end was imminent.
Klitschko continued to make use of his huge reach advantage by controlling round three with jabs and straight right hands, although he was warned by the referee after it was ruled he pushed Mormeck to the canvas despite appearing to land a left hook.
The inevitable occurred in the fourth round as a monstrous right hand stunned Mormeck into immobility and a follow-up left sent him toppling to the canvas.
Mormeck made a brave attempt to get to his feet with the count at eight but referee Luis Pabon waved the contest off to save him from further punishment.