Greek-Australian boxer Michael Katsidis produced a stirring performance to stop former two-division world champion Jesus Chavez in Austin, Texas.
It was a bruising lightweight encounter that saw Katsidis gradually wearing down his battle hardened opponent.
The hard-hitting 28-year-old from Toowoomba was leading by margins of three, five and six points on the judges’ cards when the 36-year-old Chavez threw in the towel at the end of the seventh round.
Katsidis used his power punching, steady pressure, and superior stamina to wear down the former International Boxing Federation lightweight champion Chavez.
After the seventh round, Chavez opted not to come out for the eighth round.
Despite taking several shots from Chavez early on, Katsidis fired back and took control of the bout.
A head clash cut open Chavez’ scalp in the fourth round, the resulting wound having no impact on the bout, however.
In rounds five through seven, Chavez seemed to fade under the heavy onslaught from Katsidis and began to take increasingly more punishment as the rounds progressed.
After the seventh round, which was totally one-sided with Katsidis firing huge volleys at the tired out Mexican fighter, Chavez decided he had enough and chose not to come out for what would likely be additional punishment in the 8th round.
The win saw Katsidis improve his professional record to 25-2 with 21 knockouts. Chavez later announced his retirement from the ring.
“I was warming into it as we went along and for my next fight I will come into it a lot quicker,” said Katsidis.
His manager and trainer Brendon Smith said it was the highlight of Katsidis’ career.
“It’s a great win for Michael, that’s the biggest name on his record,” said Smith.
“I felt he was in control and every round he improved and got stronger. The win has earned Katsidis, ranked number two, a crack at Mexico’s WBO lightweight world champion Juan Manuel Marquez.
However, there was a suggestion that he may pursue other lucrative fights first, including Britain’s Amir Khan and a rematch with the Cuban Joel Casamayor, who beat Katsidis in a memorable contest last year.
“I think Australia would love to get one up against England with that Amir Khan fight, but time is of the essence and Casamayor is not getting younger,” said Katsidis.
“I want him before he retires to make the wrongs right.”