Charismatic heavyweight contender Antonio Tarver moved a step closer to realising his dream of fighting for the top division world title with a seventh round stoppage win over Johnathan Banks in Temecula on Thursday.
The 46 year-old made it four wins on the spin with his most telling triumph since stopping Australian Danny Green in 2011 and is now set for a healthy rankings boost in his bid face one of the champions in 2015.
Also on the bill, former world light-middleweight title holder and Miguel Cotto conqueror Austin ‘No Doubt’ Trout retired Mexican Luis Grajeda after seven rounds of their contest as the southpaw pushed his record to 28-2.
Trout saw his career dip following back-to-back defeats to Canelo Alvarez and Erislandy Lara in 2013, but has since defeated Daniel Dawson and now Grajeda to put himself firmly back in the title picture at 154lbs.
On a packed card at the Pechanga Resort and Casino, Oscar Escandon took a split decision win over Tyson Cave at super-bantamweight, with two of the ringside judges scoring 117-111, 115-113 in his favour. The third judge saw it 115-113 to Cave leaving the distinct possibility of a rematch between the pair open.
Ex-world champions Sergio Mora and Rico Ramos has no trouble in their respective contests as both won wide eight round decisions, whilst light-heavyweight Edwin Rodriguez stopped Derrick Findley impressively in two rounds.
There were also first round victories for undefeated Terrell Gausha, Gerald Washington, Dominic Breazeale and Marcus Browne, whilst welterweight Vatch Martirosyan kept up his 100% record with a four round decision win over Eddie Diaz.