In what was thought to be a very competitive test for WBC lightweight ruler Edwin Valero, the Venezuelan southpaw handled the challenge of fellow lefty Antonio DeMarco with style last night at The Arena in Monterrey, Mexico.
DeMarco came into the bout having well defeated the trio of Jose Alfaro, Anges Adjaho and Almazbek Raiymkulov in 2009 but found Valero to be on another level entirely.
From the start it was Valero who controlled the pace of the contest, using his fast hands to deliver punishing power shots, particularly the lethal left that had stopped all 23 of his previous opponents.
But DeMarco showed remarkable toughness to keep going, dealing out punishment of his own when the opportunity arose but did lose a point for an inadvertent elbow that opened a massive cut on Valero's forehead.
Valero fought through that and another cut under his eye, displaying his remarkable offense that basically kept DeMarco right where he wanted the challenger.
After nine rounds, DeMarco's corner kept their fighter on the stool rather than face additional abuse at the hands of the best lightweight in the world.
Valero makes his second defense of the WBC title his best performance to date, improving to 27-0 (27), while DeMarco slides to 23-2-1 (17).