Wardley and Adeleye came into the fight with bad blood as both British fighters put their undefeated records on the line.
Also up for grabs were the vacant Commonwealth heavyweight strap, Wardley’s British championship, and Adeleye’s WBO European heavyweight belt.
There was speculation ahead of the fight that a cut on Wardley’s chin was so severe that he had been unable to properly train in the weeks leading up to their clash.
Neither man had been past six rounds in their pro careers, and Adeleye’s early power shots showed why the expectation was that this fight would not go the distance.
Wardley grew into the first round but both men continued to exchange fierce blows into the second and third, with Wardley improving his range.
The pace slowed in the fourth but the pair of them stayed close and traded with some thumping efforts, with some near-misses likely capable of ending the contest had they landed flush.
Adeleye was given a final warning in the sixth for what appeared to be use of the forearm, leaving Wardley seemingly a little stunned.
In the seventh – the furthest either fighter had been and the longest fight of the night – a left-hook set Adeleye to the canvas.
He just beat the count and the pair then intensified their blows and it was Wardley who became entirely dominant and the fight was done.
On a night of fearsome heavyweight match-ups, Carlos Takam faced Martin Bakole in the opening fight of the broadcast.
The two stalwarts were relatively static in the first two rounds, especially Scotland-based DRC fighter Bakole, but the tie sparked into life in the third.
Bakole started to move and throw shots early in the round, with Takam – a former world title challenger – plainly rattled and wobbling. However, the Frenchman came back with his own aggression and the fight looked relatively even.
Bakole then stepped up once more to keep up the pressure, and with Takam taking some heavy-handed punishment, the referee stepped in.
Elsewhere, Joseph Parker stopped Simon Kean in round three.
The victor could now look to get busier after years of relative inactivity, having fought just five times in three years.
The 30-year-old is ranked in the top 10 of two governing bodies, and he solidifies his position as a potential title challenger.
Moses Itauma made light work of his much more experienced opponent, Istvan Bernath, and he needed barely a round to move to 6-0.
The teenager was on the front foot from the opening bell and his jab quickly opened up room to land powerful, accurate blows.
The referee administered one count to Bernath but a quick follow-up forced him to come back again to wave it off.
Arslanbek Makhmudov secured another quick win in the evening, and his 17th stoppage of 18 fights, as he got rid of Junior Anthony Wright in the first round.
Wright was on the canvas early on and while the referee might have been forgiven for waving off the contest at that point, he gave Wright another chance.
The 34-year-old Russian then came back at his opponent and with Wright offering little by way of defence, he reaffirmed his own claims at a title shot as he brought an early stoppage of his own.
Former heavyweight champion Joseph Parker was also on the card, a training partner of Tyson Fury’s in his Morecambe gym.
He was continuing his comeback against Simon Kean after last year’s defeat to Joe Joyce, who was perhaps looking at the New Zealander as a gatekeeper to asserting himself at the top 10.
Parker looked fluid and as he ramped up the pressure in the third round, the 31-year-old opened up Kean with a jab, and then a right-handed uppercut and then sent him to the canvas, winning the vacant IBF and WBO Intercontinental titles, as his opponent could not beat the count.
How to watch Fury v Ngannou in the UK on TV
Fury v Ngannou pay-per-view (PPV) costs £21.95 in the UK and can be watched through BT TV, Virgin TV and Sky or online via the web or the TNT Sports Box Office App. You do not need to be a TNT Sports subscriber to buy this event.
Virgin Media TV customers in the UK: customers with a TiVo and/or V6 set-top-box should visit the On-Demand section and choose Live Events; customers with a Virgin TV 360 and/or Stream set-top-box should go to the Pay Per View Events rail.
BT TV customers can go to channel 494 and pay using their remote control.
EE, Three, Vodafone and O2 customers watching online or via the TNT Sports Box Office App can choose to add the payment to their mobile bill.
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