Edwin Valero kept his knockout and undefeated streaks alive by stopping Zaid Zavaleta in the third round of their WBA super featherweight title match at the Plaza de Toros in Cancun on Saturday.
Valero (23-0, 23 KOs) knocked Zavaleta down near the end of first round with a barrage of punches but Zavaleta managed to beat the count.
Referee Luis Pabon looked close to stopping the bout on several occasions in the second round as Valero unloaded with a variety of hooks and crosses while Zavaleta did his best to hold on and tie up Valero on the inside.
A combination of body punches followed by a left hook as Zavaleta was pinned against the ropes forced Pabon to step in at 1:18 of third round and prevent Zavaleta from taking further punishment.
On the undercard, Jorge Linares retained his WBC featherweight title by stopping Gamaliel Diaz in the eighth round.
Linares (25-0, 16 KOs) had Diaz down and nearly out in the fourth round but Diaz fought back gamely. The Venezuelan put Diaz down again with a right hand late in Round 8 and this time, Diaz could not beat the count.