Kell Brook's chances of a domestic showdown against Amir Khan appear slimmer than ever as the IBF welterweight champion provided a second defence of his title with a comfortable victory over Frankie Gavin on a busy night of boxing at London's O2 Arena.
The Sheffield native was in dominant form against an opponent previously hailed as a champion amateur, cruising to a sixth-round stoppage that came after Brook decided to step up another gear having already moved comfortably ahead on points.
The 29-year-old, who was stabbed in the leg whilst holidaying in Tenerife last year, called out Khan immediately after his comeback win over Jo Jo Dan in March but was disappointed when he instead chose to meet Chris Algieri in New York.
Khan beat the American on points at Barclays Center on 29 May, but afterwards reiterated his desire to face unbeaten pound-for-pound great Floyd Mayweather to leave Brook frustrated over a lack of progress.
"I don't know, you'll have to speak to Eddie but it's getting boring now me and Khan," he said in the ring when questioned if a bout against his British rival was still top of his agenda for the future.
"He don't want to hear. I've got this title, it's in the welterweight division so why not fight me? This guy here, he's got the cajones to get in and fight me so I take my hat off to Frankie Gavin."
Brook's promoter, Matchroom director Eddie Hearn, also sounded pessimistic about the possibility of his fighter coming up against Khan with the two-time world champion's eyes obviously fixed firmly on a lucrative contest against Mayweather.
"It's deja vu, isn't it? We did this in Sheffield nine weeks ago. Everybody wants Brook against Khan, but what can you do? He's waiting for Floyd Mayweather but that fight's not happening in September. Apparently he thinks it could happen next May," he said.
"It's just a waiting game, you know. It's disappointing for the British public because Kell Brook wants to fight Amir Khan. We talk about it, we get excited about it but you lose the excitement when you can't see it happening."
With Khan seemingly out of the picture for now, Hearn claimed Brook's camp were beginning to look to other potential high-profile opponents capable of providing a stern test of his quality.
"We look at Brandon Rios. We look at Keith Thurman. We look at Manny Pacquiao. These are the names that Kell Brook needs to be fighting next. 29 August was pencilled in before Frankie Gavin, potentially at Bramall Lane. He needs those big fights. He needs those big names from America to come over."
For further clarity, he added: "Amir Khan, it doesn't look like it's happening. It's disappointing for British boxing but there's nothing Kell Brook can do. Kell Brook will fight anyone in the division."
Elsewhere on an impressive 'Rule Britannia' bill, devastating heavyweight prospect Anthony Joshua improved his professional record to 13-0 and became the first man to stop Kevin Johnson with an emphatic second-round victory that once again showcased the 2012 Olympic gold medalist's ferocious power.
Kevin Mitchell lost the third world title fight of his career after a gruelling 10th-round stoppage by WBC lightweight champion Jorge Linares, Nathan Cleverly took just 25 seconds to dispatch Thomas Man with a crushing body blow while Lee Selby claimed the IBF featherweight belt from Evgeny Gradovich.
Nick Blackwell is the new British middleweight title-holder following a seventh-round win over John Ryder, Scott Cardle won the vacant British lightweight championship with a unanimous points victory against Craig Evans and Dave Ryan successfully defended his Commonwealth light-welterweight title from John Wayne Hibbert.
There was also a first career win for Lucien Reid against Elemir Rafael.