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Trinidad KOs Thiam in 3rd to keep crown

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MIAMI — Undefeated Felix Trinidad pounded Mamadou Thiam into submission Saturday night, successfully defending his WBA super welterweight title at the American Airlines Arena.

Thiam, his right eye swollen, quit with 12 seconds left in the third round.

Trinidad improved to 38-0 with his 31st knockout, while Thiam dropped to 33-2.

"It was a hard fight. It feels great to win for my country," said Trinidad, from Puerto Rico.

Trinidad landed 55 percent (96 of 175) of his punches, while Thiam landed 25 percent (34 of 136). Trinidad landed 72 of 118 power shots.

Trinidad stung Thiam with a left hook and a vicious uppercut in the first round, sending Thiam to the ropes. Trinidad unleashed a seven-punch combination as Thiam staggered away.

By the end of the opening frame, Thiam's right eye was closed, and Trinidad made the overmatched No. 1 contender look slow.

Thiam attacked Trinidad in the second as both men went toe to toe. Thiam connected with a couple of strong left hooks in the round but exited his corner to start the third nearly blind from the cut.

It was a mandatory defense for Trinidad.

Fernando Vargas, the IBF 154-pound champion, is likely next for Trinidad.

Trinidad reportedly earned $2.5 million, while Thiam made $200,000, a Florida state boxing official said Friday.

The full upper bowl of the Arena, where tickets sold for $15, $30, and $45, was littered with fans waving the Puerto Rican flag and produced a deafening roar when the island's hero was introduced.

Trinidad's team then unfurled a flag on stage as he strolled into the ring led by trainer and father Felix Sr.