Juan Manuel Lopez destroyed Daniel Ponce De Leon in one round in 2008, but most observers thought this time would be different.
Lopez needed only one more round to turn the trick Saturday, rising off the deck in Round 2 to stop Ponce De Leon in a junior lightweight slugfest on Showtime Extreme.
Ponce De Leon dropped Lopez moments earlier with a series of left hooks, and then went in for the finish. However, he was too reckless against a man who still carries fight-ending power. Lopez caught Ponce De Leon with a vicious counter right cross that floored the Mexican veteran.
Ponce De Leon barely beat the count, but Lopez dropped him again before forcing the referee to halt the bout with seconds left in the matchup.
“My corner was saying, 'yeah, that right hook is working tonight, let's keep using it, and he's going to go down," Lopez said. "I hit him with the first couple of shots. He was a little bit off balance, and that's when I got him.”
The fight emanated from Lopez's native Puerto Rico.