Brian Norman Jr. caused a shock with his 10th-round knockout of hometown hero Giovani Santillan. 

With the victory, Norman Jr became the WBO interim welterweight champion on Saturday night at the Pechanga Arena. The stoppage came at 1:33.

Norman (26-0 with 20 KOs) busted up Santillan’s nose with a powerful right uppercut that marked the end of the fight. This victory holds significant importance as the primary WBO welterweight title is currently held by Terence Crawford, who is expected to vacate the division on Aug. 3 to face WBA junior middleweight titleholder Israil Madrimov in Los Angeles. Norman Jr. will fatefully wait to see what is next for Crawford

“You may work hard, but I know I work harder,” said Norman Jr. “He probably got hard work, but I got more to it. He was pressing but not hitting shit. I made him miss and made him pay. I like going to other people’s hometowns and taking what they have. Whoever they have next for me, I’m ready for the challenge.

“Who would like to fight next? Terence Crawford is about to vacate, this is pretty much the real deal championship [belt] at 23 years old. I would like to get Mario Barrios. He won some interim belt, I want Barrios.

“Matter of fact, forget Barrios, I want Conor Benn next. I just want to retire him real quick and then I will go back to Mario Barrios.”

(On Sparring Terence Crawford) “You see what Crawford is. He could move up 17 weight classes and knockout Anthony Joshua in the first round if he wants to. The fact that I went rounds with him and it was real deal good work, all the props to him, but I feel I am up there now.”

Despite fighting in his hometown, Santillan (32-1, 17 KOs) suffered his first professional loss. 

“I know he is a workhorse, but every time I noticed he had to push himself. In round six, he started falling back,” said Norman Jr.

“The boy [is] a dog, for real. I was hitting him and he kept on coming.

“He is nine years older than me, I still have young legs. I got the same workhorse mentality that he has, but I am younger.”