Denis Lebedev knocked out Shawn Cox in the second round for the Russian's first defense of his interim WBA cruiserweight title in Moscow on Wednesday.
The Russian, who goes to 24 wins, 18 by knockout, and one defeat, outclassed his lesser-known opponent from Barbados from the first bell. It was a second career loss for Cox, who moves to 16(15)-2.
A single left from the Russian southpaw floored Cox thirty seconds from the bell in the second round. He stumbled to his feet but couldn't beat the count.
"Two rounds might not be much for you, but for us, who have worked for months for this, they were two really sweet rounds," Lebedev's trainer Kostya Tszyu told the audience after the bout.
Cox opened wildly in search of the knockout blow he suspected he might need. None of his haymakers connected, and Lebedev asserted his authority in the second, landing at will before homing in with the final shot.
Lebedev had been criticized in some circles for choosing an under-strength opponent in Cox, who has yet to prove himself at the top of the division.
Lebedev, 32, clinched the WBA's interim cruiserweight title with a unanimous points win over former three-division world champion James “Lights Out” Toney in Moscow in November.
Cox, 37, is ranked outside the top 15 by all global boxing bodies, but won acclaim in February when he knocked out former contender Wayne “Big Truck” Braithwaite.
He won gold at the 2006 Caribbean Games, when Cuba did not send a team.