Tyson Fury made a winning return to boxing on Saturday night, forcing Sefer Seferi to retire after four rounds of their heavyweight clash in Manchester.
The 29-year-old former world champion was back in the ring for the first time since beating Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015.
A combination of personal issues and an anti-doping case kept Fury away from the sport.
He never looked troubled against Albanian opponent Seferi, ten years his senior and almost a foot smaller than the Briton, in what proved to be a farcical match-up.
The contest at times resembled a pantomine with Fury gurning and throwing his arms into the air through much of the opening round.
By the fourth it became apparent Fury, who sporadically unloaded right hands, could end the fight when ever he wished – but the decision was taken out of his hands by Seferi’s corner when they withdrew their man at the end of the round.
With boos ringing down from the upper tiers, it was hardly the victorious homecoming Fury had in mind, although much more relevant contests are sure to follow.
His promoter Frank Warren is evidently intent on keeping Fury busy as he begins his long road back towards the top, and he is next scheduled to fight at Windsor Park in Belfast on August 18.
It would do him good to have few nights as facile at this one, with the majority of the aggression in the arena supplied instead by a small pocket of fans who sparked a brief brawl midway through the bout.
Seferi’s unsatisfactory withdrawal sent the boos – and the occasional drinks bottle – cascading down from the upper tiers, but for Fury at least, it is simply a case of reigniting a career that still promises much.
Speaking in the ring straight after the fight, Fury promised the boxing world that better is to come in 2018.
He vowed: “I’m happy to to be back and I’ll take my career very seriously this time. I won’t take anything for granted and I’ll enjoy every moment.
“I’ll have a world title by the end of the year.”
Meanwhile, Terry Flanagan failed in his attempt to emulate his hero Ricky Hatton and become a two-weight world champion on the undercard.
Flanagan suffered a split decision defeat to American Maurice Hooker for the vacant WBO super-lightweight title, with two judges favouring Hooker 117-111 and 115-113, and the third going for Flanagan 117-111.