Abner Mares produced a ninth round stoppage to defeat Daniel Ponce de Leon and become a three-weight champion at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
Classy Mexican Mares improved his unbeaten record to 26-0 with a 14th career knockout, twice putting Ponce de Leon on the canvas before sealing the World Boxing Council featherweight title when referee Jay Nady intervened in the ninth.
In what was his first fight at featherweight, Mares didn't need long to adapt, flooring compatriot Ponce de Leon in round two with a slick combination before cruising through the middle rounds.
Mexican southpaw Ponce de Leon seemed to improve and appeared to cause Mares some discomfort in round eight.
But Mares stepped it up in round nine, connected with a crushing over-hand right that sent De Leon tumbling before sealing victory with a barrage of unanswered shots after his opponent had wearily returned to his feet.
Ponce de Leon, who was defending the title for the first time, falls to 44-5 with the defeat.