Frustrated by two months of inactivity and the inability to land a title fight, San Diego cruiserweight Orlin Norris took out his displeasure on Keith McMurray--knocking him out at 2:57 of the second round Wednesday night at the Sports Arena before 2,378.
"It's difficult being at the top and not getting a chance to fight," said Norris, ranked No. 1 by the World Boxing Council. "Staying at the peak of your performance and not fighting is frustrating. Even those two rounds helped me out more than the gym would have."
Norris (33-3 with 18 knockouts) floored McMurray (13-15-1) late in the first round with a vicious right hook to the side of the head. McMurray stood up quickly, but then stumbled about the ring. The bell sounded seconds later.
Norris stalked McMurray for the first 20 seconds of the second round before unleashing a left hook, knocking McMurray against the ropes and down.
"He was pulling back away from me so I didn't catch him with everything," said Norris, who weighed in at 189 pounds, nine more than McMurray.
McMurray was up at the count of two, but seconds later he was back down after another thundering left hook landed flush on his jaw.
As Norris trainer Abel Sanchez pleaded for referee Raul Ciaz to stop the fight, Norris landed another left hook that sent McMurray down and out.
Next for Norris?
"I'd like to fight anybody who has a world title at the end of his name," Norris said.
San Diego middleweight Paul Vaden put on an impressive boxing display and won a majority eight-round decision over John Armijo of Huntington Beach.
Vaden improved his record to 11-0, but he was somber in the locker room after the fight as he reflected on the death of his father, who died Sunday of heart failure.
"My father was on my mind all night, but I tried to focus down," Vaden said. "For him to pass away had a dominant effect on me. But I had to concentrate, to keep smiling, be a gentleman and take care of business."
Vaden was in control throughout as he continually beat Armijo to the punch with his superior hand speed.
Afterward, Vaden complained about the crowd booing his strategy.
"These fans have to learn you don't always get in and brawl," he said. "That's the art of boxing."
Alex Garcia (23-1, 19 knockouts) of Los Angeles knocked out Mike Gans (11-9) at 2:07 in the second round of a fight that almost didn't come off.
The bout originally was set for 10 rounds, but the State Athletic Commission sanctioned it for only six rounds.
"Gans didn't look competitive for any more than that," said Steve English, assistant executive officer for the state athletic commission. "On the other hand, Alex Garcia, even though he's 22-1, hasn't fought anybody."
English said another factor in limiting the bout to six rounds was Gans' weight and his inactivity. Gans weighed in at 261 and had fought only four times since 1987.
In other undercard fights, San Diego's Ricky Quiles (12-1-1) knocked out Efren Pinedo (14-3-4) of Obregon, Mexico, at 2:51 of the first round in a lightweight bout.
Juan Akira (16-5-1) of Manzanillo, Mexico fought to an eight-round draw with Henry Lopez (22-4-1) in a featherweight bout.