By Francisco Salazar
Junior middleweight contender Michel Soro returned to the win column Saturday night, stopping Ivan Montero in the third round at La Palestre in Le Cannet, France.
Soro (31-2-1, 21 knockouts) was on the attack from the opening bell, forcing Montero to fight off his back foot.
Michel, who is now being trained by Abel Sanchez, stepped up his aggression in the third round. The tactic worked as a left-right from Soro dropped Montero to one knee, where he remained as referee Stephane Nicolo counted him out at 1:53.
It was Soro's first fight since July 1, when he lost a split-decision to interim world titleholder Brian Castano.
Michel is ranked number three by the WBA.
Montero (20-3, 8 KOs), who hails from Merida, Yucatan, Mexico, has lost three by his last four bouts.
In the main event, light heavyweight contender Igor Mikhalkin (21-1, 9 KOs) of Russia won a hard-fought 12 round unanimous decision over fringe contender Doudou Ngumbu (37-8, 14 KOs).
Scores were 116-112, 116-112, and 117-111 for Mikhalkin, who is ranked number six by the WBC and number seven by the IBF.
Unbeaten cruiserweight Arsen Goularmiriam (22-0, 14 KOs), who is the number one contender by the WBA, knocked out Hamilton Ventura (15-5-1, 13 KOs) in the third round.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper, RingTV.com, and FightNights.com. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing