Alejandro Meneses swept aside the challenge of hometown favourite Sam Maxwell to claim a fringe world title.
The Mexican came to the M&S Bank Arena in ‘Super’ Sam’s city of Liverpool on Friday and didn’t follow the script against the former British and Commonwealth champion, stopping him inside nine rounds after dropping him twice.
Meneses got through with the right hand as early as the first round and although Maxwell seemed to be getting on top several times, Meneses knocked him down in the fourth, badly hurt him in the seventh and knocked him down again in the ninth before forcing the third man in the ring, Howard Foster, to take action and wave off the contest in the Maxwell corner with just 21 seconds remaining in the ninth.
Maxwell struggled to find his range in the early stages and was rocked by three right hands from the visitor in the opening round.
He grew into it but the former Team GB man was dropped by another big right from Meneses, who expended plenty of energy.
The fifth and sixth rounds saw Maxwell –– known in the main for his viral stoppage in the final round against French-based Tunisian Sabri Sediri back in March 2019 –– pick off the 32-year-old who had previously boxed out of Mexico only once.
As things seemed to be going Maxwell’s way, though, he was badly staggered by a left hook in the seventh round by Meneses, who kept up the attack and kept landing, with Maxwell somehow staying on his feet as the Mexican emptied the tank again.
Early in the eighth, Maxwell was rocked again by a right but Maxwell shrugged it off and came forward, although he took more hard shots.
The right hand from Meneses couldn’t miss, Maxwell doing very little to negate it, and it ultimately proved to be the unravelling of the 33-year-old as a string of right hands landed before he was eventually dropped.
The resistance ran out and referee Foster stepped in.
Meanwhile, Peter McGrail impressed as he chalked up his fourth win in as many fights as a pro. The former Commonwealth Games gold medallist, who represented Team GB as an amateur and has previously been compared to star Ukrainian Vasiliy Lomachenko, was in action against Uriel Lopez over eight scheduled rounds and completely dominated en-route to a fourth-round stoppage.
And Frankie Stringer got a debut win against Simas Volosinas, outpointing the Lithuanian by 40 points to 36 to get his journey in the paid code off to a convincing start.