Bantamweight Katsuma Akitsugi added a fringe contender to his list of impressive victories with a ninth-round technical knockout over Jesus Ramirez Rubio on “Wednesday Night Fights” at the ProBox TV Events Center in Plant City, Florida.

Akitsugi (11-0-1, 2 KOs), 26, originally from Japan and now training in Hollywood, California, started fast with strong body shots, maintaining a frantic pace. Rubio (22-4-3, 16 KOs), often referred to as Eduardo Ramirez, struggled to land effective punches.

In the second round, Ramirez, 28, from Mexico, caught Akitsugi with a right hand that got the crowd’s attention. Akitsugi finished the round pushing back Ramirez, demonstrating his willingness to fight in the pocket despite his low knockout percentage.

In the fourth, Akitsugi dropped Ramirez with a left hand that disrupted Ramirez’s balance from a wild punch Ramirez was throwing as his glove touched the mat. Akitsugi’s timing and rhythm were on display as he forced Ramirez back, reducing Ramirez’s volume with a steady output of smart punches. Akitsugi’s consistent aggression snapped Ramirez’s head back repeatedly, while a Ramirez shot that did land showcased Akitsugi’s resilient chin.

A clash of heads in the seventh round caused a cut over Akitsugi’s right eye, which only seemed to fuel his aggression. Despite the blood flow, Akitsugi continued to dominate Ramirez, the heavier-handed fighter.

Akitsugi demonstrated solid fundamentals and balance, letting his hands go liberally and overwhelming the durable Ramirez. In the ninth round, Akitsugi landed a flurry of punches, with Ramirez failing to respond for 30-40 seconds, prompting referee Michael DeJesus to stop the bout at 1:48 of the round.

The bout highlighted Akitsugi’s potential as an exciting new name in the bantamweight division. Notably, Akitsugi had a month-long training camp, one of the longest of his career, and was coming off a two-year layoff. Coming into the fight, Akitsugi had bested undefeated prospects Gregory Morales, Rasheen Brown, Eros Correa and Arnold Dinong on the regional circuit and undercards off the main television portion of fight telecasts.