Welterweight contender Luis Carlos Abregu ended a nearly one-year ring absence with an eighth-round TKO of previously unbeaten Jean Carlos Prada on Saturday.
Having been out of action action since April 27 of last year because of a right hand injury, the 30-year-old Abregu (36-1, 29 knockouts) stopped Prada (30-1-1, 21 KOs) in front of a hometown crowd in Salta, Argentina.
A 29-year-old Venezuelan, Prada had scored knockouts in three of his previous four bouts, but had largely faced a string of soft opposition before Abregu. He was able to score a seventh-round knockdown of Abregu, though mainly due to his opponent being off-balance.
Abregu has won seven straight fights, six of them inside the distance, since falling by unanimous decision to Tim Bradley in July 2010. Among Abregu's victories during his run was a seventh-round knockout against previously unbeaten prospect Thomas Dulorme in October 2012.
Prior to Prada, Abregu scored a unanimous decision over Antonin Decarie, who entered their fight with a mark of 27-1.
Abregu's agent, Sean Gibbons, said the fighter initially hurt his right hand against Bradley, and then re-injured it against Dulorme.
"If Abregu can stay healthy," said Gibbons, "a title shot could come sooner than later."