By Miguel Maravilla at ringside
Undefeated former WBC bantamweight champion Luis “Pantera” Nery (30-0, 24 KOs) of Tijuana, Mexico scored a ninth round knockout over former world champion and two-time Olympian Juan Carlos Payano (21-3, 9 KOs) of the Dominican Republic on Saturday night at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The two southpaws clashed heads early in the opening round but no caused no cuts as Nery and Payano fought on. Fighting aggressively in round two, Nery landed some looping wild punches that got Payano’s attention. Nery began to pick up the pace connecting inside to the body and roughing up Payano. A short right by Nery in the fourth started things up as he backed Payano and followed up with his attack.
Payano survived the previous round and stood his ground in the fifth as Nery was working hard. Nery landed a crisp left hook in the sixth but Payano kept coming. The Mexican landed some heavy shots in the seventh as he backed up Payano. A solid straight left by Nery landed flush down the pipe as Payano’s nose was busted but the Dominican kept fighting on. Nery sent Payano to the canvas in the ninth with a crunching left hook to the body that did it as referee Vic Drackulich stopped the fight at 1:43 of the ninth. Nery claimed the WBC silver title.