FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) – Cuban defectors Yuriorkis Gamboa and Yan Barthelemy remained unbeaten with convincing victories Friday night.

Gamboa stopped Johnnie Edwards in the first round to win a regional super-featherweight title in only his ninth professional bout.

Minutes after Gamboa’s victory, Barthelemy lasted the distance, unanimously outpointing Colombia’s Antonio Diaz.

The two Olympic champions defected from the Cuban boxing team during a stop in Venezuela in December 2006.

Gamboa (9-0, 8 KOs) punished Edwards with quick combinations to the head. In the opening minute of the round, Gamboa floored Edwards with a three-punch combination to the head. Although Edwards (13-2-1) easily beat referee Brian Garry’s 10-count, Gamboa kept the pressure and immediately connected with rights to the body.

With Edwards unable to counter or evade Gamboa’s shots, Gamboa landed another three-punch combination to the head, which sent Edwards to the canvas a second time.

Referee Brian Garry spared Edwards from additional punishment and waved the fight at 1:34 of the round. The victory earned Gamboa the North American Boxing Federation super-featherweight crown.

“I definitely felt the support of the crowd,” Gamboa said. “It is an honor to win my first title as a professional.”

Although not as flashy with his victory, Barthelemy (5-0) still outclassed Diaz (9-9) in their six-round bantamweight bout. Barthelemy frustrated the Colombian with lead rights and followup lefts to the head.

In the fourth, Barthelemy scored the first knockdown of his career when an accumulation of head and body shots forced Diaz to take a knee and an eight count. Barthelemy won on all three judges scorecards, 59-53.

AP-ES-02-22-08 2235EST

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