LOS ANGELES: Gervonta Davis retained his World Boxing Association super featherweight world title with a vicious first-round knockout of former world champion Hugo Ruiz on Saturday.
Unbeaten Davis lived up to his knockout-artist reputation with his 20th win inside the distance out of his 21 victories.
The powerful southpaw hurt Ruiz with a straight left and then followed up with a three-punch combination capped by a right hook to the side of Ruiz´s face that dropped the challenger to a knee.
Ruiz, blood streaming from his nose, was able to rise but referee Jack Reiss called a halt at 2:59 of the first round.
“Tonight I just wanted to put on a great performance,” said Davis, who posted his 12th straight knockout.
Ruiz was a late replacement for three-division champion Abner Mares, who withdrew from the bout two weeks ago with a detached retina in his right eye.
Ruiz, a former super bantamweight world champion, was coming off a unanimous 12-round decision over Alberto Guevara on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao´s 12-round demolition of Adrien Broner and took the fight on 10 days´ notice.
Reiss said he stopped the fight when Ruiz failed to say if he felt he could continue.
“Ruiz didn´t answer me,” Reiss said. I told them clearly in the dressing room that you´ve got to show me you want to be in this fight.
“When I asked him ´Can you continue´ in Spanish he kind of just looked down and didn´t answer. He was really hurt, that nose was broken earlier and then he got hit on it again.”