Los Angeles, USA: Former world champion Erislandy Lara continued his trek back toward the top of the super-welterweight ranks on Saturday with a second-round demolition of Ramon Alvarez.
Cuban-born Lara gained the World Boxing Association's second-tier "regular" world title in the 154-pound category with a dominant display over the overweight and overmatched Mexican in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Only Lara was eligible to win the vacant title after Alvarez, brother of middleweight king Canelo Alvarez, failed to make weight on Friday by more than four pounds.
Lara was in control from the start, battering Alvarez into the ropes in the second round. After Alvarez survived a standing count, Lara unleashed another barrage and the fight was halted at 2:03 of the second round.
Alvarez's corner and the referee moved simultaneously to stop it.
Lara, who improved to 26-3-3 with 15 knockouts, gained a measure of revenge against the Alvarez family. He lost a controversial narrow split-decision to Canelo Alvarez in 2014.
Lara lost the WBA's top 154-pound belt by split-decision to American Jarrett Hurd in April of 2018.
The crown is now held by Julian Williams, who shocked Hurd in May.