Months of hard work with trainer Johnney Roye paid off for Liam Conroy, after the Barrovian light heavyweight came up with an impressive performance in defeating Andre Sterling.

The quarter finals of MTK Global's Golden Contract tournament was the first time Conroy had stepped into the ring since his would-be Match of the Year against Steven Ward back in June, and his fourth fight of what has been a big year for him.

The 27-year-old rounded it off with an excellent display of technique and stamina to control the majority of the ten rounds at the Brentwood Centre last Saturday and earn a place in next year's semi-finals off the back of a clear-cut points victory.

Him knocking down Sterling with a left hook in the seventh played a big part in that, as did Roye driving him on in his corner to ensure he never took his foot off the gas.

Conroy said: "He said to me to put a stamp on the fight in that last round. I never realised I was that far up [on the judges' cards] and Johnney had me thinking that I needed that last round desperately.

"Johnney was keeping me grounded in the corner, telling me it was close and that the judges could be seeing it the other way, so he was keeping me sharp. I never realised how wide it was at the time.

On the shot that sent Sterling to his knees, Conroy said: "I knew he was a tough lad and the shot that I knocked him down with was a shot that I've been working on with Johnney and with the new coach that we've got based in Barrow.

"We've been doing a lot of that catch counter on the pads and stuff, so it was good that it sent him down."

Conroy was up against an opponent who had only been defeated once in his previous 11 fights as a professional and one who provides a threat with his powerful short-range jabs, but he was unable to land these due to the control Conroy exerted.

"We knew he was going to be awkward, but I just had to stay composed, stick to my boxing and be confident in my skills," Conroy said:

"I was just trying to keep it long and not let him crowd me because when he got close to me he was physically strong and I couldn't get my shots off.

"When I kept it long, he was rushing in really quick, so it was just about finding room to get my shots off, whether that was using my feet or using my arms to push him off."

The night was notable for Ward being stunningly stopped in the first round by Latvia's Ricards Bolotniks, therefore ruling out the possibility of a rematch with Conroy further down the tournament.

Conroy said: "It was an interesting night. I think Bolotniks doing that was a bit of a surprise and I was bit gutted about that as well because Ward is a bit of a pal.

"The [Hosea] Burton fight sounds like it was a good one too."