Juan Manuel Marquez of Mexico successfully defended his WBA and WBO lightweight titles, stopping Australia's Michael Katsidis at 2:14 of the ninth round Saturday at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
In the ninth round, Marquez (52-5-1, 38 KOs) landed 36 punches to nine for Katsidis (27-3, 22 KOs). Referee Kenny Bayless halted the bout after Katsidis was hurt by several combinations.
''We worked really hard for this fight, and I could tell my body shots were wearing him down,'' Marquez said. ''This was definitely the fight of the year.''
After eight rounds, the three judges had the 37-year-old Marquez leading, 78-74, 76-75, 77-74.
Katsidis knocked down Marquez with a left hook in the third, but Marquez rallied to take the lead before finishing off the Australian in the ninth.
''I was surprised by his left hand,'' Marquez said. ''I didn't protect myself and I got caught. I knew how to manage the fight with my combinations and conditioning. That's why I got up so quickly after I got knocked down.''
Katsidis, who was taken to a hospital after the fight, went ahead with this bout despite the death of his brother, jockey Stathi Katsidis, in October.
''I always knew it was in the cards to knock him down,'' Katsidis said. ''But this is boxing, and he has a lot of experience. He was stronger than me, and it ended up getting stopped. I'm not disappointed because I have gone through a lot to get to this fight.''
Marquez connected on 63 percent of his power punches (214 of 338), while Katsidis landed just 32 percent (155 of 484), according to Compubox Punchstats.