IBF champion Kiko Martinez remains on course for a unification fight with Scott Quigg
Kiko Martinez made a successful second defence of his IBF super-bantamweight title, beating Hozumi Hasegawa in Osaka.
Last Updated: 23/04/14 3:17pm
The Spaniard, who has now won four times since losing to Carl Frampton last February, could now be in line for a unification fight with WBA champion Scott Quigg later this year.
The 28-year-old had the Japanese challenger down three times in all before the referee halted the action midway through the seventh round.
Hasegawa first hit the deck in the second round under a flurry of punches and things only got worse for the former bantam and featherweight titlist, who was cut from a head clash in the fourth round.
Martinez remained the aggressor throughout although it cost him a point in the sixth when he struck the Japanese on the break.
However, the judges would not be required and Hasegawa was buckled by a left hook in the seventh, sending him to the floor.
A similar shot soon put him down again leaving Robert Byrd with little choice but to bring proceedings to a halt.
In the co-feature event, Shinsuke Yamakana retained his WBC bantamweight title with a ninth-round stoppage victory over Belgian Stephane Jamoye.
The 31-year-old dominated throughout the fight, dropping Jamoye with a straight left in the second round, while a body shot set up another count in the eighth.
He was down for a third time before the bell sounded and although Jamoye came out for the next, another left to the body left him down and out.
Yamanaka moves to 21-0 with two drawn, 16 of his wins coming inside the distance.