Juan Manuel Marquez stamped himself as the world's top lightweight with a ninth-round knockout of Juan Diaz in a thrilling title unification fight Saturday night at the Toyota Center.
Marquez (50-4-1, 37 KOs) won the vacant WBA and WBO lightweight
belts, plus Diaz's minor IBO title, finishing off the Houston
native with a right uppercut at 2:40 of the ninth round.
The 35-year-old Marquez, a former featherweight and super-featherweight champion, was fighting at 135 pounds for only the second time in his 15-year professional career.
Diaz (34-2), a Houston native, called the fight the most
important of his life, but lost for the second time in three fights
after winning his first 33 bouts as a pro.