Ricky Burns defended his WBO lightweight title when Jose Gonzalez quit on his stool
Ricky Burns retained his WBO lightweight title when opponent Jose Gonzalez quit on his stool before the 10th round.
Last Updated: 12/05/13 10:21am
The Scot came through some torrid moments before turning the fight round in the seventh, taking Gonzalez's best shots and coming back with his some of his own.
The hitherto unbeaten Gonzalez had dominated until that point but looked a shadow of the man thereafter, however it came as a huge surprise when he refused to answer the bell for the 10th claiming a damaged hand.
It means Burns was successful in his third defence of the title and can now move on to bigger, unification fights down the road.
Burns went into the contest a hot favourite but it was soon evident that Gonzalez had not read the script.
Perhaps rusty after an eight month absence, Burns was repeatedly beaten to the punch as the Puerto Rican won the battle of the jabs and looked dangerous on both flanks.
The challenger had the reach advantage and made it work for him as Burns was unable to get into range without taking serious punishment, upper cuts and hooks hammering home.
Burns' nose was bloodied in the third round but had a better fourth, however the challenger hit back late in the fifth forcing the popular Scot to take cover on the ropes for the first time.
Gonzalez was clearly winning the fight at halfway after a round that typified the action - the champion often second to the punch and only landing the occasional clean shot.
But the seventh was potentially round of the year as they traded leather - Burns clearly knowing he had to break his man mentally as well as physically. It worked.
The champion had to dig very deep after taking the best Gonzalez had, numerous upper cuts getting through Burns' high guard before the Scot hit back with spite, forcing his foe onto the ropes for the first time in the contest with swinging shots to the head and body.
Both looked exhausted by the end of the session such was the intent but Gonzalez had clearly come off second best as the next unfolded, the underdog circling on the outside as Burns took the round almost by default.
Burns also won the ninth in similar fashion after Gonzalez was tardy off his stool, and although the home favourite failed to land anything serious there was not a great deal coming back at this stage and the fight was there to be won.
However, the challenger gifted Burns victory by refusing to rise despite protestations from his trainer, who looked perplexed as Gonzalez quit - the referee wasting little time in waving the fight off.
It was a remarkable turnaround after Burns' title appeared to be slipping from his grasp on a night of anxiety and drama.