By Chris LaBate
Lenny Zappavigna earned a world title shot by knocking out the dangerous Ji Hoon Kim in the first round of their IBF lightweight eliminator. Zappavigna (25-0, 17KOs) knocked Kim (21-7, 18KOs) down twice in the first 90 seconds of their fight at the Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre.
A follow-up flurry of punches forced American referee Wayne Kelly to jump in and stop the bout after 101 seconds. Zappavigna will now get a shot at Miguel Vazquez (26-3, 12KOs) of Mexico.
"Once I dropped him, I knew I had him gone," Zappavigna said. "I was punching harder, stronger and faster. He's a very rangy fighter. Everyone was saying I was going to have a hard fight, a lot of people doubted me. Now whether I fight Vazquez here or over there, I'm mentally prepared."