Yuri Foreman, an aspiring rabbi who mixes religious studies with work in the gym, outpointed Daniel Santos over 12 rounds Saturday night to win a piece of the 154-pound title.
Foreman knocked Santos down with a right hand in the final round, but by then the outcome had long since been decided. He won 117-109 on two ringside scorecards and 116-110 on the third.
The fight wasn't exactly an artistic triumph, with both fighters head butting each other and Foreman throwing Santos to the canvas in the second round. But Foreman controlled much of the action and landed both the harder and more effective punches.
The fight was on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto title fight at the MGM Grand arena.