Darren Traynor waved for the fight to be stopped in the seventh round at York Hall on Saturday night. The Scot had just taken another powerful body shot from Carl Frampton.
The victory - his first since beat Tyler McCreary in November of last year - moved the 33-year-old Frampton closer to a world title shot. The former two-weight world champion is now 28-2 in his career.
"I was far from my best," Frampton told BT Sport.
"People talk about doing the rounds, I don't think it's going to harm me doing the rounds.
"If I had the chance to take him out in the first round, I would have done it. Saying that, the rounds were good - he's a tough kid.
"I had to make sure that complacency didn't creep in at all. If I slipped up here, it was a potential banana skin, no one was expecting Darren to beat me. There was no pressure on him. He had a decent game plan, they were trying to step back and not rush things.
"Once I started landing my jab, I hurt him a few times. Then the body shots in the second half of the fight."
Frampton's next fight could be for the WBO super featherweight title against Jamal Herring. The 34-year-old American is scheduled to defend the title against Jonathan Oquendo next month.
"I think so," said Frampton when asked if a bout between him and Herring could happen this year.
"That's what Bob Arum said, Frank is happy for that fight to happen as well. We've been talking about it for a long time. Hopefully, that's it."