LONDON -- Dereck Chisora took care of business against Carlos Takam on Saturday much faster than heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua managed in October.
Chisora provided another surprise twist in his entertaining career with a brilliant, eighth-round knockout against Takam, who lasted 10 rounds against Joshua.
Takam looked to be heading toward a points victory over Chisora, who absorbed considerable punishment before finding the strength to land two big right hands that twice floored Takam.
France-based Takam, 37, who stepped in at short notice against Joshua and lasted longer than expected, pummelled Chisora on the ropes for much of the fight.
Chisora, however, turned the fight in dramatic fashion with two seismic right hands that sent Takam to the canvas.
"I definitely want the winner of the main event," Chisora said ahead of the fight between London rival Dillian Whyte and Joseph Parker.
"Takam is tough. I realized I couldn't trade with him toe-to-toe. I knew the overhand right could catch him. In that round, I knew it was time to send it home."
Zimbabwe-born Chisora, who has lived in north London since childhood, is consistently inconsistent, capable of taking Vitali Klitschko to points in a valiant WBC world heavyweight title bid in 2012 but then flopping in domestic fights against David Haye and Tyson Fury.
More recently, Chisora (29-8, 21 KOs) was impressive in a thrilling points loss to Whyte in December 2016 but lost three of his past six fights before taking on Takam.
Chisora looked like he was heading to another defeat in the first round after taking a terrible beating.
Takam (35-5-1, 27 KOs), who was born in Cameroon, snapped back Chisora's head with a right uppercut and spent most of the round unloading clubbing hooks while Chisora sat on the ropes near his corner.
But this fight had many twists and turns, and the 34-year-old Chisora started the second round more positively before the pair did not hold back as they exchanged big hooks.
Takam was more active, and Chisora once again was content to absorb blows on the ropes in the fifth round.
A right sent Chisora crashing against the ropes in the sixth amid intense pressure, but the Londoner quickly recovered and rallied to finish the round on the attack.
Chisora was being outpunched and dominated, but it did not matter when he landed a big overhand right to the top of the head that floored Takam in the eighth.
Takam was still dazed when he got to his feet, and he was quickly returned to the canvas by a right to the jaw.
Katie Taylor d. Kimberly Connor, KO 3
In another fight on the undercard, Katie Taylor retained her WBA and IBF world lightweight titles by overwhelming Kimberly Connor in the third round.
Connor was left wobbling from a right to the jaw after a blizzard of fast punches rained down on the American.
"I happened to catch [Connor] with a good shot, stayed composed and then got a good finish," Taylor said.
Taylor, who made a first defense of the IBF belt and third of the WBA title, wants to unify all four world titles. Belgium's Delfine Persoon (41-1, 16 KOs) is the WBC titleholder while Brazil's Rose Volante (13-0, 7 KOs) is the WBO champ.
Said the 32-year-old Taylor: "I've got two belts -- two more to go."
Taylor (10-0, 5 KOs), from Bray, Ireland, and training in Connecticut, once again showed that her skills and fast hands make her one of the standout stars in women's professional boxing.
The 37-year-old Connor (13-4-2, 5 KOs), who is from Little Rock, Arkansas, hadn't fought for a year, but she briefly gave Taylor something to think about early in the third round.
After being caught by a stiff right hand, Taylor responded by landing a series of combinations and hooks. The Irishwoman, who won gold at the 2012 Olympics, chased Connor relentlessly around the ring, and two jolting rights hands turned the American's legs to jelly.
Taylor will next face former WBO world featherweight champion Cindy Serrano (27-5-3, 10 KOs) on Oct. 6 in Chicago. That will be Taylor's fifth fight in a year, and Serrano, a Brooklyn-based fighter from Puerto Rico, can be expected to be a harder test than Connor.
Joshua Buatsi d. Andrejs Pokumeiko, KO 1
In another fight, light heavyweight Joshua Buatsi (7-0, 5 KOs), the 2016 Olympic bronze medallist, knocked out late-replacement Andrejs Pokumeiko (17-15-1, 13 KOs) in the first round after a furiously fast start.
Buatsi, 25, who was born in Ghana but has lived in south London since childhood, finished off his Latvian opponent in 1 minute, 56 seconds. Buatsi's punches were too fast, and Pokumeiko was floored for a second time by a perfectly delivered left hook.
Conor Benn d. Cedrick Peynaud, 10-round unanimous decision
Conor Benn (13-0, 9 KOs), the son of former world middleweight and super-middleweight champion Nigel Benn, did a better job on Cedrick Peynaud the second time around in a 10-round welterweight contest.
After beating Peynaud on points in a December fight in which he was twice floored in the first round, the 21-year-old Benn unanimously outpointed the Frenchman on Saturday by scores of 98-90, 98-91 and 97-90 that were a bit generous for the Englishman in a rematch that was difficult at times.
Benn, who grew up in Spain and Australia but is now based in England, had another shaky first round against Peynaud (6-6-3, 4 KOs) when he was caught a couple of times.
Benn profited from Peynaud being harshly given a count at the start of the second round after stumbling following a missed punch.
Benn was caught by a flurry of hooks in the third round, but he was much tidier from the fifth. The English boxer dropped Peynaud for a count with a body shot in the seventh round.
Peynaud was given another count in the ninth, but Benn was not totally dominant and remained open to getting hit.
Benn, who had never been 10 rounds before, was exhausted and in trouble again in the last round, but he earned the verdict.
David Allen d. Nick Webb, KO 4
David Allen was heading for defeat when he threw a big looping right hand that knocked out rival English heavyweight Nick Webb in the fourth round.
Webb (12-1, 10 KOs) was left with his chin resting against the bottom rope after an entertaining encounter.
Allen (14-4-2, 10 KOs), 26, from Doncaster, was stopped by France's Tony Yoka, the 2016 Olympic gold medallist, in the 10th round last month, but this win in a British title eliminator breathes new life into his career.