Puerto Rico's Orlando Cruz, the first openly gay fighter in professional boxing, failed in his bid to gain the WBO featherweight title when he was knocked out by Mexico's Orlando Salido.
Cruz hit the canvas in the seventh round on Saturday night in a fight Salido dominated throughout and the referee promptly called a halt to proceedings.
"I went into the corner and he hit me with a good shot," Cruz said. "I thought the fight was close up until then. It was going back and forth."
Cruz, wearing rainbow trunks to promote gay rights, was never really in the fight, landing just the occasional blow and clearly being stung by the ferocity of Salido's combinations and body shots.
The Mexican, however, was magnanimous in his praise for the outclassed Cruz.
"Cruz is strong and fast, and I had to fight with intelligence and put a lot of pressure on him," Salido said.
"This is the biggest moment of my life. My career has been like a roller coaster. I've had my ups and downs, but its great to be back on top. It's a very big win."
The WBO title was vacant after Miguel Angel Garcia was stripped of the belt when he failed to make weight for his first defence against former champion Juan Manuel Lopez in August.
The result pushes Salido's record to 40-12-2, with 28 KOs while Cruz fell to 20-3-1.