Egidijus Kavaliauskas rebounded from his first professional loss last time out to stop Mikael Zewski in the eighth round inside the MGM Grand Bubble in Las Vegas on Saturday.
The two-time Olympic representative from Lithuania was on an even keel with the Canadian in the main event here, before finding the extra quality he needed to force the end of the contest.
Kavaliauskas (22-1-1, 18 KOs) picked up the WBO NABO, and WBC Continental Americas Welterweight titles, as a result of his win on the latest Top Rank promoted show on ESPN in the USA.
The first half of the fight was a tactical affair, with both men cancelling each other out mainly with hard right hands and hardly getting into an exchange.
‘Mean Machine’ Kavaliauskas did have reddening around his right eye in the fourth, but other than that it was his heavy handedness against the business of Zewski (34-2, 23 KOs).
The turning point came in the seventh round, when Kavaliauskas, 32, landed a massive uppercut that stunned the Canadian and forced him on the retreat.
A follow up attack dropped him, where he survived the count by the skin of his teeth and also the round.
It was to be a matter of time before the finish though and this came just seven seconds into the eighth, where an overhand right from Kavaliauskas again had Zewski, 31, on the deck.
This time, referee Kenny Bayless had seen enough and waved the contest off.
Zewski was ahead on two scorecards at the time of the stoppage.
“I wanted to knock him out faster, but it happened this way,” Kavaliauskas told ESPN post-fight.
“You can never count on the knockout, I was working and putting pressure on him.
“I saw him slowing down round by round and saw him getting weaker and weaker.
“I was blocking his punches and not feeling his power.”
Thoughts now turn to a return to world title level, where Kavaliauskas was in December 2019, turning in a spirited display before being stopped in nine by the gifted Terence Crawford in an attempt at the WBO crown.
He would prefer a rematch, but would take opportunities with any of the current 147 pound champions.
“I don’t think he (Crawford) has any other choices at Welterweight,” Mean Machine added.
“I can ask his team, with all due respect, for a rematch, because these guys (belt holders) have no opponents yet.”
Joet Gonzalez also rebounded from a WBO Featherweight title defeat to Shakur Stevenson in June, dominating his Featherweight affair with former three-time world title challenger Miguel Marriaga, taking a ten round points win.
Gonzalez (24-1, 14 KOs) took now former WBO titlist Stevenson all twelve rounds in his last assignment, but was comfortably outscored, with the 23-year-old American since relinquishing his belt.
Once Gonzalez settled into a rhythm, Marriaga (29-4, 25 KOs) found it difficult to stick with him and the Colombian spent most of the second half of the fight in his shell.
Two scores of 99-91 and a third at 97-93 handed a clear win to the Californian, who picked up the WBO International belt.
It was an impressive win for Gonzalez against a man whose only defeats had come against Vasyl Lomachenko, Oscar Valdez and Nicholas Walters.
Elsewhere, Aleem Jumakhonov (9-3-2, 5 KOs) stopped Jorge Ramos (7-3-1, 4 KOs) in the third round of their scheduled eight rounder at Featherweight.
In the battle of unbeaten Bantamweights, it was Miguel Flores (9-0, 6 KOs) that came out on top, knocking out Jonathan Rodriguez (8-1, 3 KOs) in five rounds
At Super-Lightweight, Anthony Chavez moved to 9-1 (3 KOs) with a hard fought 58-55 win on all three cards against Adan Gonzales (5-4-2, 2 KOs)
The show opener came at Lightweight, where Eric Puente (4-0) took a points win against Luis Norambuena (4-6-1) over four rounds
Scores of 40-36 twice and a third at 39-37, improved Puente’s record to 4-0.