Japan's Takashi Miura said his late father helped him win the new World Boxing Council (WBC) super featherweight champion Monday, after a technical knockout in the ninth round against Gamaliel Diaz.
The 28-year-old challenger floored the Mexican title-holder with a straight left one minute and 21 seconds into the ninth to finish the contest, having already knocked his opponent to the canvas several times during the bout.
"I have no words but I'm happy. I wanted to show this belt to my father, but he passed away a month ago. I think he helped me. I made it," said Miura, who was fighting for the world title belt for a second time.
Miura, who had been the 10th-ranked challenger, lost one penalty point due to butting in the opening round, but fought back aggressively in the second, connecting with a left straight.
The Japanese challenger knocked Diaz down in the third round with a counter-attack as he gained momentum, but after the fourth the scores were even at 37-37.
In the fifth, Miura unleashed a barrage of straight lefts, cutting Diaz's right eye, after the 32-year-old Mexican's left eye had already been cut by the earlier butting.
Another straight left knocked Diaz to the canvas again in the sixth, and a right hook had the Mexican down once more in the seventh, before the technical knockout brought the fight to an end.
Miura took his record to 25 wins, including 19 KOs, against two defeats and two draws.
Diaz had been making his first defence of the title he wrested from Takahiro Aoh of Japan in October last year. His record now stands at 37 wins, including 17 KOs, against 10 defeats and two draws.