Stephen Bunting was left 'eating his words' after being whitewashed by Michael van Gerwen in the last 16 of the World Darts Championship at the Alexandra Palace, London, on Friday.
The Dutch media had reported that Bunting had described his rival as 'vulnerable' in the build up to their showdown but the defending champion showed no signs he was about to fall by the wayside and shot 'The Bullet' from St Helens to pieces with a 4-0 victory.
The red-hot favourite for the title will now need to KO Stockport's Nathan Aspinall tonight (Monday) in the round of the last four and only a super optimist would back against him landing his fourth world crown on New Year's Day.
Bunting simply did scale the height of which he is capable against an opponent who produced an average of 104.09.
Van Gerwen struck with a magnificent 11-dart leg to take the opener, averaging 100.92 and hitting three 180s en route to a comprehensive win.
"I think I played well in patches, not all over the game," said van Gerwen.
"I'm really happy with my performance tonight, it was better than my previous games. Stephen didn't play as well as he is capable of, but I put him under pressure from the beginning."
Van Gerwen added:''Stephen is a phenomenal player, but often it goes wrong for him in an important match and that happened tonight."