LAS VEGAS -- Marcos Maidana scored a sixth-round knockout against Victor Cayo to retain the WBA interim super lightweight championship on Saturday night in the main event at the Hard Rock Hotel.
Maidana (28-1, 27 KOs), from Argentina, wore down his Dominican opponent and connected with a right to the body that forced Cayo down.
Referee Joe Cortez counted Cayo (24-1, 16 KOs) out with 1:38 left out for Maidana's 27th knockout.
At the time of the knockout, Maidana was winning on two scorecards, both each 49-45. The other scorer had it 47 apiece.
"It was very tough fight," Maidana said. "I thought I was winning the whole fight. His feet threw me off. He had a lot of movement early. I went back to my corner and they told me to calm down. After the third round, I got a second wind."
In the first of two main bouts, Joan Guzman earned a 12-round split decision victory over Ali Funeka in the vacant IBF lightweight championship Saturday night, but could not claim the crown due because he weighed in over the 135-pound limit.
In the second main bout, Maidana landed a right on top of Cayo's head knocking him down at the end of the second round. The right appeared to be after the bell, but Cortez counted it.
"I heard the bell. It was in the moment. It wasn't intentional," Maidana said.
Cayo said the possible late punch slowed him.
"I got distracted after the second round and I could not re-cooperate after that," Cayo said. "He kept hitting me behind the head too many times. The ref never did anything to stop it.
"I've never been matched up with a big puncher. [Maidana] punches pretty hard. I will be back for the pride of my country," he said.
As for a possible Maidana-Guzman fight, Maidana said, "The most important thing is that he makes weight. I will fight anyone they put in front of me."
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press
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