The co-feature bout of the November 21st HBO pay-per-view headlined by the Miguel Cotto vs Saul Alvarez bout saw WBC World Super Featherweight champion Takashi Miura lose his title to a game and determined Francisco Vargas.
Vargas came out strong, but the champion Miura had settled down by the third round.
Miura scored a knock down on Vargas in round four, and the challenger's face was definitely beginning to show the effects of the punishment, with several cuts and a lot of swelling.
Both men threw finesse out the window at times, and it was Vargas who landed the telling flurry of the match in the opening seconds ninth, when he sent Miura spinning to the canvas.
Miura gamely got up, but it was clear he did not have his wits about him.
Miura managed to survive a little while by clinching, but he was taking punishment when referee Tony Weeks stepped in to stop it mid-way through the ninth round.
The Japanese and the Mexicans have developed quite a rivalry of their own in the lower weight classes, and Vargas now sits ranked #2 in the Super Featherweight division, behind only Takashi Uchiyama, the WBA's “Super” World champion.
Vargas is now a stellar (23-0-1), with his only blemish coming in a draw in his fourth career fight.
Uchiyama is scheduled to defend his belt on New Year's Eve against lightly regarded Oliver Flores of Nicaragua, but a showdown with the Japanese champion would likely entail Vargas fighting in Tokyo.
More likely, Vargas will stay stateside for his first title defense.
For now, Vargas will surely enjoy his hard earned victory.