WASHINGTON -- The question about Seth Mitchell going into his fight with Timur Ibragimov was simple: Could Mitchell continue to polish his credentials as America's best heavyweight hope?
He sure did.
Mitchell unloaded a series of brutal overhand rights and left hooks to pound Ibragimov into a second-round knockout Saturday night at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in the co-featured bout on the undercard of junior welterweight titlist Amir Khan's defense against Lamont Peterson.
Mitchell (24-0-1, 18 KOs) became the first man to stop Ibragimov (30-4-1, 16 KOs), a 1996 Olympian from Uzbekistan and Mitchell's most experienced opponent to date.
"I'm blessed with natural athletic ability," Mitchell said. "I have the size, power and speed. But I don't take that for granted and I work really hard. This is my first time [fighting] at home since 2010, and to be on the biggest network [HBO] was such an honor.
"This is the platform I want to be on. I want to continue the buzz. Of course, I wanted to be the first to stop Timur, but I wasn't going to be reckless."
After a round of moderate action to open the fight, Mitchell turned it up in the second round. He caught Ibragimov repeatedly with his right hand and had him wobbly.
He moved in for the kill, and landed five flush right hands and a left hook before referee Malik Waleed moved in to stop it at 2 minutes, 48 seconds.
Mitchell, 29, of nearby Brandywine, Md., closed the show by landing 23 of 46 power shots in the second round, according to CompuBox stats, even if the stoppage seemed a tad premature.
"Why did they stop the fight? I'm OK," Ibragimov, 36, said. "He didn't even hurt me. Of course he landed some shots, but I was all right. I'm fine. I could have kept going. There was no point to stop the fight."
A former standout linebacker at Michigan State, Mitchell saw his NFL dreams crushed by a knee injury. So he turned to boxing in his early 20s, had an abbreviated, 10-fight amateur career (9-1, 9 KOs) and turned pro in 2008.
He has moved quickly and was taking a big step up against Ibragimov, passing the test with ease.
"We knew we had to stop his right hand," Mitchell said. "So once I neutralized that, it was pretty much an easy night for me. I kept catching him with my right, and my left hook stunned him, and he was a sitting duck for my right hand."
A. Peterson dominates Attah
Lightweight Anthony Peterson (31-1, 20 KOs), the younger brother of main event fighter Lamont Peterson, dominated Daniel Attah (26-7-1, 9 KOs) en route to a shutout eight-round decision -- 80-72 on all three scorecards.
Peterson, 26, fighting in front of his hometown crowd, was returning to the ring for the first time since September 2010, when he seemingly fell apart mentally against Brandon Rios -- who went on to win a lightweight title. He had been knocked down in the fifth round and was trailing by six points on all three scorecards when he was docked two points for continued low blows in the sixth round of their title elimination bout. Despite having been warned repeatedly for the low blows, Peterson continued to go low and was disqualified in the seventh.
However, he didn't let that memory deter him from going to the body often against Attah, 34, a native of Nigeria who is based in Washington.
Peterson not only worked the body but attacked Attah, a former junior lightweight title challenger, with punches from both hands, while Attah did little more than cover up.
Attah, coming off a sixth-round knockout to former junior lightweight titlist Roman Martinez in October, has lost two fights in a row.
• Middleweight Fernando Guerrero (22-1, 17 KOs) laid waste to Robert Kliewer (11-14-2, 5 KOs), dropping him three times and battering him repeatedly until referee Kenny Chevalier stopped the fight at 45 seconds of the fifth round.
Guerrero, 25, a popular draw in his hometown of Salisbury, Md., was fighting for the first time since suffering his first defeat, an upset fourth-round knockout to Grady Brewer on ESPN2/ESPN3 in June. Guerrero had dropped down to junior middleweight for the fight and was perhaps drained.
On Saturday, he pummeled Kliewer, of St. Paul, Minn. He worked him over to the body and landed power shots with both hands throughout the fight. Guerrero dropped him in the fourth from an accumulation of shots and twice more in the fifth round. He finished Kliewer with a left hand, and Chevalier called it off without finishing the count.
• Lightweight Jamie Kavanagh (8-0-1, 3 KOs) and Ramesis Gil (6-3-5, 5 KOs) fought to a majority draw, and Kavanagh was lucky to get it. Gil, 28, of Puerto Rico, busted open a cut over Kavanagh's right eye in the second round, and it bled the rest of the fight. All the while, Gil was outpunching Kavanagh, a 21-year-old from Ireland for whom Golden Boy has had high hopes. But he didn't look as good as Gil, who had lost three fights in a row, appeared stronger and landed numerous right hands. The blood appeared to bother Kavanagh. Two judges had it 57-57, while the third had it generously 58-56 for Kavanagh.
• Welterweight Dusty Harrison (3-0, 1 KO), who is just 17 and turned pro in June after more than 200 amateur fights, blew away fellow Washington fighter Terrell Davis (0-5). Harrison dropped him three times before the fight was called off at 2 minutes, 46 seconds. Harrison barely worked up a sweat, ending the fight when a pair of right hands connected and drove Davis to the mat.
• Fort Washington, Md., light heavyweight Thomas Williams (6-0, 4 KOs) thrashed Reynaldo Rodriguez (6-3-1, 3 KOs) of Woonsocket, R.I., until Rodriguez's corner threw in the towel at 54 seconds of the second round. Williams dropped him twice in the first round and battered him nearly at will until the stoppage.
• White Plains, Md., lightweight Terron Grant (2-0, 1 KO) scored a first-round TKO of Dashawn Autry (0-2) of Garland, N.C. Grant just overpowered Autry, trapping him along the ropes and pounding on him until the referee intervened at 1 minute, 10 seconds.
• White Plains, Md., lightweight Joshua Davis (2-0, 1 KO) easily outboxed Chris Russell (2-8-1, 1 KO) of Shattuck, Okla., for a four-round unanimous decision in the first fight of the night.
Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter @danrafaelespn.