Irish middleweight Andy Lee continued his road back to a title fight with a convincing first-round knockout victory over Daryl Cunningham in Manhattan on Wednesday night.

The bout between Lee and Cunningham topped the card at the famed BB King Blues Club, but the partisan crowd only got to see one minute and 27 seconds of action.

A booming left from Lee midway through the opening round rocked Cunningham and the Limerick fighter showed no mercy, forcing his opponent up against the ropes before raining down several big shots, forcing the referee to stop the bout.

"When you connect with a good shot, you know. It was unfortunate for him, he came to fight. He was setting up with his jab and I just set him up," Lee said afterwards.

"He’s not a bad opponent, but I just caught him with a nice shot."

Lee revealed that his target is a title fight with WBC Middleweight champion Sergio Martinez, although he admits that it may take a while to get the fight.

"I feel like I am at the top of my game right now and obviously the number one guy in the middleweight division is Sergio Martinez and that is the fight I want," he said.

"We have the same promoter in Lou DiBella, so I feel like it is an easy fight to make and one that is very attractive for the middleweight division. I know that Sergio is taking some time off, but I’ll be ready for him once he is ready to go.

"I like to stay busy. I’ll probably fight again in late August or September if I can."

Andy Lee speaks to Declan O'Kelly following his first round stoppage of Daryl Cunningham in New York