Mexico's Hernan Marquez rebounded from back-to-back losses in 2010 by lifting a major flyweight title from Luis Concepcion in the Panamanian's hometown of Panama City on Saturday.
Marquez (30-2, 23 knockouts), who suffered an eighth-round TKO to Nonito Donaire and was outpointed by Richie Mepranum last year, got up from a knockdown and dropped Concepcion three times en route to an 11-round stoppage in a brutal war of attrition that should be considered a fight of the year candidate for 2011.
Marquez and Concepcion traded knockdowns in a wild first round and continued to exchange flush power-punch combinations in rounds two and three, when the 22-year-old Mexican scored a second knockdown of the favored defending beltholder.
Concepcion (22-2, 17 KOs) swung with abandon throughout the hotly contested bout. The 25-year-old Panamanian was riding a six-bout knockout streak — including back-to-back first-round KOs of veteran Wilfredo Valdez and contender Denkaosan Kaovichit – going into Saturday's fight and may have fallen in love with his power.
Concepcion's go-for-broke style was a mistake against Marquez, who counter punched him with sharper technique in the majority of rounds, but it made for a great slugfest. Concepcion wobbled Marquez on numerous occassions, including the end of the 10th round, just after he was dropped for a third time.
The fight seemed up for grabs going into the championship rounds but the ringside physician stopped the bout at the start of the 11th round due to severe swelling and lacerations to Concepcion's face.