If ever there was a case of a fight living up to its billing as a potential war, this was it. Marcos Maidana and Josesito Lopez both gained a weighty boost to their respective reputations after laying on an absolute treat for the hardcore BoxNation fans LIVE from California's Carson Center.
Former World Champion Maidana looked like a broken man in the fourth round after soaking up some real punishment. But he rampaged back in the fifth, and such was the brutality of the treatment he gave welterweight counterpart Lopez in the following round, he simply couldn't live with Maidana's explosive finishing power.
A stinging body shot midway through the sixth stanza seemed to take the will out of Lopez, who reeled back into the ropes before eventually dropping to the safe haven of a knee. He made the eight count - spurred on by sheer determination alone - but found a rampant Maidana waiting to finish the contest, forcing referee Moret to intervene.
Lopez later called the stoppage premature, but it's hard to see how he could have survived the remaining 80 seconds of the round had the fight continued.
Marcos Maidana (right), 29, and Josesito Lopez, 28, line up a WBA Intercontinental Welterweight title showdown in the Home Depot Center, Carson, California.
That fight tops an interesting triple-header which also features light-middleweight contests between Erislandy Lara and Alfredo Angulo and Jermell Charlo v Demetrius Hopkins.
Marcos Maidana, the WBA's #2 welterweight, knows if he prevails over the fiery Josesito Lopez in Carson, California, that a potential multi-million dollar bout with Floyd Mayweather Junior awaits.
To get the opportunity, Argentine Maidana knows he not only needs to win, but do so in style.
08 June 2013, 03:00:00
Erislandy Lara escaped California with the Interim WBA World Light-Middleweight title despite twice being knocked down. Cuban Lara halted Angulo in the tenth round as the Mexican challenger, with a severely swollen left eye, surprisingly turned his back and walked towards his corner, forcing referee Raul Ciaz Snr. to call time on the contest.
But that barely tells the story of a fight where the pendulum swung one way and then the other. Angulo, unranked by the WBA and unfancied in the betting market, had the organisation's number four light-middleweight on the canvas in both the fourth and ninth round as he threatened a stoppage.
Angulo wasn't able to keep the most damaging of Lara's attacks out, however, and suffered some heavy damage to his left eye which closed up over the course of the 10 rounds until it became the defining feature of the bout.
With a win, Lara has thrust himself firmly into WBA World title contention, where some of the sport's biggest names - Austin Trout, Miguel Cotto, Saul Alvarez and Floyd Mayweather - potentially await him.
There is a greater prize at stake than the WBA's Interim crown when Erislandy Lara and Alfredo Angulo meet this Saturday night live on BoxNation.
Golden Boy matchmaker Eric Gomez has already stated that the winner of this one will be catapulted into the WBA's top three or four, paving the way for a big money bout against the likes of Austin Trout, Miguel Cotto, Saul Alvarez and even the biggest payday of them all, Floyd "Money" Mayweather.
Both men have always been there or thereabouts. Angulo is a former Interim titlist with the WBO, while last November, 30-year-old Lara (above) drew a full WBC title eliminator to leave himself somewhat in limbo.
Now there's a clear path set for both fighters, who know that a win will set them up for the biggest fight of their respective careers.