WBO Super Bantam boss Juan Manuel Lopez kept his world title belt last night at Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez in Bayamon, turning back the challenge posed by WBO Bantam beltholder Gerry Penalosa, who was pulled out by his corner in a battle of southpaws.
36 year old Penalosa of The Philippines had previously won world titles on away ground during his long and distinguished career but the active and heavy-handed Lopez made sure that wouldn't be the case in Bayamon.
The Caguas man took control of the contest from the start and the 25 year old simply outboxed and outpunched the challenger over every round of the contest.
It was only the amazing chin of Penalosa which kept him in the bout as he was heavily outworked and absorbing a great deal of punishment by the time the fight was called to a halt in the ninth frame.
Lopez improves to 25-0 (23), making the third successful defense of the WBO crown while brave Penalosa drops to 54-7-2 (36), absorbing a stoppage loss for the first time in his 20 year career.
On the undercard, America's Lamont Peterson, 27-0 (13), used a good body attack to gain control of his Interim WBO title fight against France's Willy Blain, 20-1 (3), who could not continue in the seventh after suffering a hand injury.