Ramon Cardenas became a contender last night.

His stunning sixth-round technical knockout of Israel Rodriguez Picazo was as dramatic as it was impressive.

After a grueling back-and-forth bout on ProBox TV, Cardenas landed a shot that appeared to break Picazo’s jaw. In between rounds, the doctor was brought into the ring and would not allow the fight to continue. 

Afterward, Cardenas embraced one of ProBox TV’s broadcasters, Paulie Malignaggi, whom he had some sincere words for.

“I told him, I wanted to be like him [Paulie Malignaggi],” said Cardenas, after his main event victory. 

Malignaggi was the first famous boxer Cardenas had ever come across. New York’s former two-division world champion was a star of his era. 

Cardenas continued: “I didn’t even know who you were. I [had been] barely boxing six months, I had no clue. I told myself I wanted to be like him. People were lining up to take pictures with you.”

An overjoyed Cardenas just got a huge win in the main event and being able to tell Paulie he was one of his major inspirations in the sport was a bonus.

“I told my dad I am going to meet Paulie one day and tell him that story,” Cardenas smiled.

Ramon Cardenas improved to 23-1, 12 KOs. He is now a legitimate super bantamweight world title contender.