Martin Bakole broke Kevin Johnson’s renowned resistance to force a fifth-round stoppage of the American veteran in Newcastle.

The Scotland-based heavyweight was forced to cope with a late change of opponent, with Johnson replacing the injured Gabriel Enguema, but Bakole produced steady pressure from the opening bell to become only the third man to halt his 40-year-old opponent.

Johnson had taken Daniel Dubois the distance in a points loss last year and was content to stay tucked up behind a defensive shell as Bakole probed for early openings with a cluster of punches.

But the former world title challenger showed signs of distress in the third round, turning away following a sustained attack from Bakole, who began to land his right hand with regularity in the fourth.

Bakole unloaded a string of punches to halt Johnson Bakole unloaded a string of punches to halt Johnson Bakole unloaded a string of punches to halt Johnson

Johnson’s tight guard would unravel in the fifth as Bakole jolted his head back with a succession of punches to force the referee’s intervention.

On the same bill, Lawrence Osueke was forced to settle for a split-decision draw with Ricky Summers after a scrappy encounter.