HOUSTON (AP) _ Michael Nunn defeated former Mexican national middleweight champion Everado Armenta Sunday night when Armenta failed to get to his feet after being knocked to the canvas in the eighth round.

It was declared an eight-round technical knockout.

``I'm definitely on my way back,'' said Nunn. ``I've fought my way back into good shape. I'm ready to fight the best fighters in my division now. That goes for anybody out there _light heavyweight to super middleweights. Bring on the best.''

Nunn improved his record to 49-3 with 31 knockouts. It was his 42nd victory without a loss with trainer Joe Goossen in his corner.

Armenta came out in a right-handed stance in the first round and then changed to a left-handed stance by the third round.

Although he encountered some trouble in the second round and in the fourth round, Nunn put on an awesome display of offense that had been uncharacteristic through much of his earlier career.

With a barrage of punches in the eighth, Nunn dropped Armenta to the canvas near the end of the eighth round.

Armenta stayed down as the count by referee Robert Gonzales reached nine. As Armenta struggled to regain his feet at that point, Gonzales waved the fight off, hitting the 10-count just before Armenta stood.

With the loss, Armenta, of Los Mochis, Mexico, fell to 21-8.