Bryan Vera stopped Eloy Suarez in the eighth round of a tougher-than-expected Solo Boxeo Tecate main event from Frisco, Texas, on Friday.
Vera, a 28-year-old super middleweight fringe contender from Austin, Tex., halted Suarez, a 37-year-old journeyman from San Antonio, with a left hook to the body 30 seconds into the eighth round of their scheduled 10 rounder.
Vera (19-5, 12 knockouts), who is coming off an upset decision over former 154-pound titleholder Sergio Mora, was in command of the fight but Suarez was game throughout the Telefutura-televised bout and a lot tougher than his .500 record indicated.
Vera worked a consistent jab, which set up clean right hands, while utilizing good footwork and angles, but Suarez (11-12-1, 5 KOs) came on strong in the final minute of many rounds, landing flush right hands, left hooks and choice body shots as he trudged forward.
Vera was wise to attack the body of his motivated foe as Suarez, who suffered a cut above his left eye in the sixth round, seemed to be able to take his best head shots.
In the co-featured bout of the Telefutura broadcast, former junior middleweight contender James Kirkland bounced back from the first loss of his career — a shocking first-round TKO to Nobuhiro Ashida in April — by scoring an opening-round KO of his own.
Kirkland (28-1, 25 KOs), a 27-year-old Austin native who is known for his impetuous style, dropped Dennis Sharpe twice with lefts to the body before their scheduled eight-round middleweight bout was halted at 2:18 of the first round.
Sharpe (17-8-3, 5 KOs), a 36-year-old journeyman from Orange, N.J., tried his best to force the hard-charging southpaw back on his heels but he had no answer or resistance to Kirkland’s body shots.