PARIS -- Yunier Dorticos of Cuba used unrelenting uppercuts and impressive accuracy to stop Youri Kalenga in the 10th round and take the vacant WBA interim cruiserweight title in Paris on Friday.
Kalenga, who has made France his home since leaving the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was comprehensively out-boxed by the unbeaten, clinical Dorticos, who's based in Miami.
Dorticos sent Kalenga to the canvas with a string of four uppercuts in the second round, as well as a crunching right hand as his opponent was going down.
It was all uphill for Kalenga from that point. Even after a standing count from the referee, Kalenga looked out on his feet, with only stamina and heart carrying him to the bell.
Kalenga's swinging right and left hands often found only air; he wasn't as technical or efficient as Dorticos. Kalenga's punches that did connect didn't hurt Dorticos enough to put Kalenga back in the fight.
The partisan French crowd shouted "Youri! Youri!" to encourage the France-based boxer. But Dorticos picked off Kalenga with his accurate shots, bloodying him. Kalenga struggled to get punches past the Cuban's defenses. From the sixth round on, Kalenga needed treatment during the breaks for a small cut over his left eye.
The referee stepped in and stopped the fight after a series of punches in the 10th left Kalenga clearly too groggy to properly defend himself.
Dorticos' record improved to 21-0, with all but one of those wins coming inside the distance.
Kalenga's record fell to 22-3, with 15 knockouts.