MONTREAL -- Yuriorkis Gamboa won the interim WBA lightweight title with a unanimous decision over Darleys Perez in a bout that left Bell Centre fans booing on Saturday night.
Gamboa (23-0), the 2004 Olympic gold medallist from Cuba who now lives in Miami, snuck a left hook around Perez's guard for a knockdown in the opening round and never trailed in the bout.
The bout was the co-feature to Chad Dawson's defence of his WBC light heavywight title against power punching Adonis Stevenson of Longuieil, Que., later Saturday night.
It was Gamboa's first fight as a lightweight after holding titles at featherweight and junior lightweight. Perez (28-1) was in his first title bout.
Fans grew impatient with long stretches of inactivity from both fighters, with the larger Perez keeping his distance and the quick-handed Gamboa seemingly content to sit on his lead.
Two ringside judges had it 116-111 and the other 115-112, all for Gamboa. The Canadian Press scored it 116-111 for Gamboa.
It was no contest as middleweight David Lemieux (29-2) of Montreal knocked down Poland's Robert Swierzbinski (11-2) once with a right to the body and twice with left hooks in the first round for a quick win.
HBO put a super-featherweight bout between Jose Pedraza of Puerto Rico against Mexico's Sergio Villanueva and it got the crowd going as Pedraza (13-0) stopped Villanueva (25-3-2) in seven rounds with a barrage of body shots.
Promoter Yvon Michel's new signing, two-time Olympian Artur Beterbiev of Russia, easily won his pro debut as he stopped Christian Cruz (12-16-1) in the second round of a light heavyweight bout. Cruz has lost 11 in a row.
Heavyweight Didier Bence (9-0) of Montreal also stopped Eric Barrak (7-1) of St-Come, Que., in the second.
A tight welterweight bout saw Sebastien Bouchard (7-0) of Quebec City eke out a six-round unanimous decision over Frank Cotroni (7-1) of Montreal.