Marco Antonio Rubio overcame what should serve as the final hurdle towards another title shot, easily stopping Colombia's Dionisio Miranda in two rounds Saturday evening in Chihuahua, Mexico.
The knockout win puts Rubio in line for a shot at a vacant title, with the targeted fight a rematch with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. should the once-beaten ex-champ emerge victorious in his comeback fight versus Bryan Vera this September.
Rubio scored three knockdowns on the night, flooring Miranda in the opening round courtesy of a straight right to the jaw. The sequence came too late for Rubio to properly follow up, as Miranda beat the count and was further aided by the bell sounding to end the round and further prevent another punch from being thrown.
However, Miranda still had to come out for the second. The frame proved disastrous for the visiting journeyman. Rubio put him back on the canvas midway through the round, courtesy of a flush left hook. Miranda once again beat the count, but already bore the look of a finished fighter.
Ever the veteran, Rubio saw a defeated fighter in front of him and plucked the remaining carcass. A combination forced Miranda to the canvas for the third time in the fight, this time taking the full ten count as he was counted out at 2:44 of round two.
Rubio advances to 58-6-1 (50KO), picking up his fifth straight win since suffering a points loss to Chavez Jr. last February in San Antonio. The result was met with a lawsuit filed by his handlers, in the absence of drug testing which was never administered by the WBC or the Texas Department of Licensing.
An arbiter ruled that the terms of the contract were not honored, thus reinserting Rubio as the mandatory challenger to the alphabet belt held by Sergio Martinez, who is also universally recognized as the true middleweight king.
However, the Argentine southpaw is out of commission through the remainder of 2013 and into the first quarter of 2014. The ring absence allows for a belt to be freed up, which Rubio plans on aggressively pursuing, regardless of the future opponent.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as the Records Keeper for the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and a member of Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox