Melero had no response to Thaxton's superb third round punch
Jon Thaxton is the new European lightweight champion after a third-round knockout against Spanish opponent Juan Carlos Diaz Melero.
The 34-year-old, a professional since 1992 claimed his 34th victory from 42 fights with a powerful blow to instantly floor the experienced Melero.
Thaxton, who won in front of his home crowd in Norwich, said: "I am so proud and people know I put up a great fight.
"I'm an exciting fighter - after giving up the British title I had to win."
Melero, 32, who had previously held the European title, was out-punched by the energetic Thaxton in what was arguably the British fighter's last chance at seeking a world title bout.
Southpaw Thaxton's highly impressive victory atones for the disappointment of losing to Yuri Romanov for the same title in April.
Melero felt the force of some good punches in a first round which finished with the Spaniard already cut above the right eye.
And there was to be no let up from Thaxton, whose swift right hook in the third came from nowhere to put a dramatic end to a short contest at the Norfolk Showground.
"The last time I competed for this title I was so disappointed," added Thaxton.
"You don't get many second chances in life and I've always had ambitions of becoming a world champion.
"I don't always win but I know I am capable of putting up a great fight."
In the evening's earlier bouts, Herbie Hide stopped Latvian Aleksejs Kosobokovs in the third round of their cruiserweight bout, while Danny McIntosh beat Steve Spartacus for the vacant English light heavyweight title.
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