By Jake Donovan
Marco Antonio Rubio stopped Michel Rosales in the 11th round of their main event Saturday evening at Auditorio de Bicentenario in Morelia, Mexico.
There were concerns of a brutal mismatch considering that Rosales came in as a career welterweight with minimal punch resistance. Such an outcome nearly became reality when Rubio scored a knockdown in the opening round.
To his credit, Rosales took the pain and offered back as much as he was capable of producing. It wasn't nearly enough, however. Rubio took over late and eventually overwhelmed his foe, dropping and stopping Rosales in round eleven.
Rubio (56-6-1, 49KO) has now won three straight since a points loss to Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. earlier in the year. Rosales suffered his second consecutive knockout loss, falling to 32-6 (26KO).
Saturday's bout took place at a maximum weight of 161 lb., which both fighters came in at during Friday's weigh-in. Rubio plans to stick around at middleweight, as the win keeps alive his hopes of securing at least one more title fight.
The 32-year old has come up short on two previous occasions. In addition to the Chavez Jr. loss, Rubio suffered a 9th round knockout loss to Kelly Pavlik in their Feb. '09 middleweight championship contest.
In the televised co-feature, former strawweight Raul Garcia scored a third round stoppage over familiar foe Sammy Gutierrez. The bout was their fourth encounter, though the first time in the series to not go to the scorecards.
Garcia's first career blemish was a 12-round draw to Gutierrez in his 15th pro fight. The verdict has now been avenged three times, including the fourth - and last - successful defense of his strawweight title in a 12-round win in Aug. '09. Garcia lost the belt to Nkosinathi Joyi in his very next fight seven months later.
The win on Saturday was his third straight, all inside the distance, as he improves to 33-2-1 (21KO). Gutierrez ends a two-fight win streak as he falls to 33-9-2 (23KO).
Both bouts aired live on Televisa.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: