It was easy work for junior featherweight titleholder Carl Frampton on Saturday.
Fighting in his hometown of Belfast, Northern Ireland, where he is a major star, Frampton made the first defense of his 122-pound world title in devastating fashion as he laid a sustained beating on American Chris Avalos en route to a one-sided, fifth-round knockout at the Odyssey Arena.
The victory may have paved the way to a world title unification match against England's Scott Quigg, who was ringside for the fight and then joined Frampton for a joint post-fight interview on ITV, the British terrestrial network that returned to boxing after years away to televise Frampton-Avalos.
A Frampton-Quigg showdown is one of the biggest fights that can be made in the United Kingdom, and it surely got even bigger after how impressive Frampton was in destroying Avalos, the mandatory challenger from Lancaster, California.
"I want it. It's a huge fight," Frampton said with Quigg standing next to him. "I would love it. I think Scott wants it. This summer. It's a huge fight."
Added Quigg: "It was a good performance. Avalos was game. I want the fight. The British public wants this fight. It doesn't matter where the fight is, let's get the fight on."
Other than landing punches twice on the break in the first round -- and getting a hard warning from referee Howard John Foster after the second time -- Avalos did very little except throw wild punches and eat shots in return.
Frampton's right hand could not miss and he rocked Avalos with it in the second round. Avalos appeared to have hurt his shoulder, and when he turned sideways and began to walk away from Frampton (20-0, 14 KOs), Frampton rushed at Avalos and cracked him with a right hand.
In the third round, Frampton, 28, continued to pound Avalos (25-3, 19 KOs), 25, with heavy punches from both hands. By the end of the round Avalos was bleeding from his mouth and looked like he had very little left.
He took a ferocious beating in the fifth round. Yet another clean right hand staggered him and Frampton continued to pound him around the ring. When he rocked Avalos with another right hand, Foster intervened and waved off the contest at 1 minute, 33 seconds.
Avalos earned the mandatory position by knocking out Japan's Yasutaka Ishimoto in Macau, China, last May, and also won a tuneup fight in November to extend his winning streak to six while awaiting his title opportunity.
The only previous losses of Avalos' career both came by split decision to fighters who were unbeaten at the time -- in 2011 to Jhonatan Romero, who later won a world title, and Christopher Martin in 2010. But despite promising a knockout victory, Avalos was no match for Frampton, who won his world title by lopsided unanimous decision against Kiki Martinez in their September rematch in Belfast. Frampton had previously knocked out Martinez in the ninth round in a European title fight in February 2013.
Now Frampton hopes to face Quigg next, going so far as to say he would be willing to leave Belfast, where he enjoys massive fan support, to fight in England.
"It's the biggest fight in the U.K. except maybe Amir Khan and Kell Brook," Frampton said, referring to that possible Brook welterweight title defense. "A huge domestic showdown."
The 26-year-old Quigg (30-0-2, 22 KOs), who has defended his secondary title five times, is sidelined until the summer after undergoing surgery to repair tendon tears he suffered in a November defense. A fight with Frampton would be a spectacle upon his return.
Barry McGuigan, the Hall of Fame former featherweight champion from Ireland, who is Frampton's promoter, said he would like to make the fight with Quigg promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing.
"I said this before -- this is the best [122-pound fighter] in the world," McGuigan said, pointing at Frampton. "Aficionados think it's [unified champion Guillermo] Rigondeaux. There's also Quigg and [titleholder Leo] Santa Cruz. But Carl is. He is a sensational fighter and over the next couple of years we aim to prove that.
"I am sure Scott would come here [to Belfast] but we can fight in London or Manchester, but he has to remember who the real champ is. We pack arenas. [Frampton] earns tons of money, he's the draw. As long as Scott understands that. But we would love to fight Scott Quigg next. We will compromise on some issues."