Danny Roman scored two knockdowns and knocked out Shun Kubo in the ninth round to win a secondary junior featherweight world title on Sunday at Shimazu Arena in Kubo's hometown of Kyoto, Japan.
Roman (23-2-1, 9 KOs), 27, of Los Angeles, dominated the fight. He cut Kubo, a 27-year-old southpaw, over the left eye and dropped him with a pair of powerful right hands about 30 seconds into the seventh round. In the waning seconds of the eighth round, Roman landed another destructive right hand to drop Kubo to one knee.
Kubo was fading fast as Roman continued to batter him in the ninth round. When he badly staggered Kubo (12-1, 9 KOs), sending him into the ropes with yet another right hand, referee Pinit Prayadsab stepped in and waved off the fight at 1 minute, 21 seconds.
Roman, who said he went to Japan with the intention of getting a knockout, led by shutout scores of 80-70 on two scorecards and 79-72 on the third going into the ninth round.
"I said before the fight that I didn't intend for this to go to the judges," Roman said. "The plan was to knock him out and take the WBA title in dominating fashion. Words can't describe what I'm feeling right now. It's a dream come true."
In January, Roman knocked out San Antonio's Adam Lopez in the ninth round of a world title eliminator to earn a mandatory shot at the 122-pound belt held by Nehomar Cermeno. But when Cermeno lost the secondary belt -- Guillermo Rigondeaux holds the top-tier title -- by 11th-round knockout to Kubo in April, Roman got the first shot at him.
"We're incredibly proud of Danny Roman," said Ken Thompson of Thompson Boxing, Roman's promoter. "In our eyes, Danny is the ultimate champion. He never backs down from a challenge and tonight he showed that he belongs among the best in the 122-pound division."
Alex Camponovo, the general manager and matchmaker for Thompson Boxing, has been high on Roman for quite some time and was excited to see him fighter score such a decisive victory in an important fight.
"We never had any doubt that Danny would win the WBA title," Camponovo said. "He looked unbelievable against Kubo. We believe his best years are still ahead of him. That's a scary thought for the rest of the champions in this division."