San Antonio’s Ramon Cardenas thrilled his hometown fans with a picture-perfect performance, employing a textbook left-hook to drop, stop and upset Rafael Pedroza in the second round to win his debut on ShoBox Friday night in the main event live on Showtime from Boeing Center at Tech Port in San Antonio, Texas.

Cardenas decked Pedroza twice in the second round, both on leaping, picturesque left hooks that landed cleanly and catapulted Pedroza to the canvas. On the second knockdown, as Pedroza landed awkwardly on his side, referee Rafael Ramos waved the fight off immediately at 1:22 of the second frame.

“The first knockdown I hit him with a right hand to the body and he dropped his guard, so I came back up on top,” Cardenas said.

“I noticed his defense wasn’t that tight, so I threw it and when it landed, I dropped him. And I knew it would happen again, so I decided to do it again and that ended it. He was an undefeated fighter coming on Showtime, so it’s my biggest win, for sure. From here, we’re onto bigger and better stuff. I’m sure Showtime will want me back again after that. I want the champions.”

It was a nightmarish result for Pedroza, who was fighting for the first time outside of his native Panama and entered Friday with high expectations, undefeated and ranked fifth in the WBA at super bantamweight after a highly decorated amateur career. Instead, it was Cardenas, fighting in his hometown for the ninth time, who appeared relaxed and poised and had the night of his life to improve to 22-1 with 12 KOs as Pedroza fell to 15-1 with 11 KOs.

Cardenas, who was able to get inside of Pedroza’s six-inch reach advantage, earned a career-best victory at The Alamodome in July 2022 when he decisioned Michel Banquez in Showtime Boxing streaming action preceding Mark Magsayo vs. Rey Vargas. Now he has another spectacular performance to add to his list of growing achievements.

“I was ranked in every organization in the world for more than a year, but I didn’t get the chance then,” Cardenas said. “But now that I’ve made a statement, I’ll take the WBA (champ), WBC, whatever. My plan was to put the boxing world on notice, by going out and showing the world who I am. I believe I did that.”