Michel Soro remains a problem for just about any junior middleweight in the world.
The streaking contender picked up his fifth consecutive win, dominating veteran Cedric Vitu in five one-sided rounds Friday evening at Accor Hotel Arena in Paris, France.
What was supposed to be a competitive heat between countryman quickly developed into a rout. Soro—born in the Ivory Coast but who lives and trains out of Villeurbanne, France—established his presence early in the contest, which was fought for an off-brand version of the 154-pound crown.
Vitu—who hails from northern France—was similar to Soro in historically proving to be a tough out for most in the weight division, but the 34-year old didn't have any answers on this particular evening. His lone stoppage loss in 50 previous fights came last March at the capable hands of top-rated Brian Castaño, who also holds a split decision win over and troubled history with Soro.
Plenty of separation between the two came in this bout, which reached a breaking point in round five. Soro was unmerciless on the attack, connecting with a chopping right hand to spark the fight ending rally.
A two-fisted attack ended with a left hook to the temple of Vitu (47-4, 19KOs), who was out on his feet as the fight was mercifully halted.
Soro (35-2-1, 23KOs) has now scored four knockouts in his current five-fight win streak since a July 2017 split decision defeat to Castaño. A rematch was planned for this past summer, only for Castaño to withdraw after a dispute over guaranteed funding and drug testing.
The development freed up a secondary junior middleweight title, but Soro was unable to compete for it after watching a replacement fall through at the 11th hour. He was instead forced to settle for a July bout with very late replacement Anderson Prestot, whom he stopped in five rounds to become the equivalent of the mandatory challenger to the title currently held by Erislandy Lara.
Both are in line for a future shot at unified titlsit and current divisional top dog Julian 'J-Rock' Williams.
The bout aired live on Canal+ in France, and streamed live and legal on its accompanying website.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox