FELIX Alvarado proved true to his words.
The hard-punching warrior will return to Nicaragua a world champion after scoring a seventh-round technical knockout win over gutsy Filipino Randy Petalcorin to win the vacant International Boxing Federation (IBF) light-flyweight crown on Monday night.
"I really want the crown. I'm now a world champion," said Alvarado through an interpreter following the action-packed fight at Midas Hotel.
The 12-round bout came to an end at the 2:04 mark of Round 7 as referee Ernie Sharif stepped in after Petalcorin went down for the third time from a barrage of powerful Alvarado punches.
The Filipino went down twice early in the round following a series of crunching body blows from the Nicaraguan.
"The fight plan was to pressure him," said the 29-year-old Alvarado, who improved to 34-2-0, with 30 KOs.
Upon arriving in the country last week, the Nicaraguan vowed to win by knockout over Petalcorin after previously losing by unanimous decision to Kazuto Ioka of Japan and Juan Carlos Reveco of Argentina in his two previous shots at a world title.
He went straight to the Filipino from the opening round and punished Petalcorin with power punches from different angles.
Petalcorin fell prey to Alvarado's fight plan and engaged the Nicaraguan in an early toe-to-toe exchanges.
By the end of the second round, it was obvious the hard blows began to take its toll on the 26-year-old Davao-born southpaw, who looked spent and was already breathing heavily in his corner.
It was just a matter of time before the end came for the Filipino, whose record fell to 29-3-1, with 22 KOs.
Petalcorin later said he suffered cramps in his legs that he can't no longer move during the decisive round.
"Hindi na ako makagalaw kaya napaluhod na lang ako," said the Filipino, who's fighting out of SanMan Promotions.
In the main supporting bout of the fight card presented by ESPN 5 and MP Promotions, Giemel Magramo scored a third round TKO of Petchchorchae Kokietgym for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) Oriental flyweight championship.
Meanwhile, Dabe 'Doberman' Apolinario stretched his unbeaten record to 9-0 (6 KOs) after making short work of Joan "Joan of Arc" Imperial following a first round knockout win.