By Marc Livitz: Ricardo Rodriguez slugged his way past David Quijano in an intriguing battle for the WBO Latino super flyweight title on Friday evening at the A La Carte Pavilion in Tampa, Florida.
Quijano (16-6-1, 9 KO’s) used his jab well and looked to counter throughout the opening round. The Caguas, Puerto Rico fighter had his opponent from Mexico City on the back foot for much of the period. They fought in close proximity to the other in the second as Rodriguez looked to work the body under "Dabo" Quijano’s left hook, who was cautioned by the referee for possible low blows. An entertaining bout was indeed beginning to take shape.
Ricardo was more aggressive in the third. "Meserito" Rodriguez (14-3, 4 KO’s) had developed a small mouse under his right eye. He stood at 5’4", while Quijano was two inches shorter. A brief exchange in the fourth saw the taller Rodriguez get tagged with a well timed counter left hook to the face.
David popped away with his left jab, yet Ricardo jumped on him whenever he let up. "Meserito" cranked up the pace in the fifth as he landed a well timed left uppercut in close quarters.
The remaining moments of the round were highlighted by phone booth style exchanges which displayed hard punches from each combatant. With half of the contest now in the bag, the balance of the contest seemed still very much undecided.
David Quijano had predicted a knockout win in the sixth round at the weigh in on Thursday afternoon in Tampa. He had three minutes to deliver on his promise despite his ever reddening face exhibited as a result of his Mexican foe’s constant pressure. No knockout came. Rodriguez was now visibly bleeding in a steady stream from the left side of his head.
He was intent to counter his Puerto Rican adversary’s rushing approach with effective counter shots, only now he was beginning to get hit as soon as he pulled out of his attack.
Through seven rounds, this was becoming a story of Quijano’s aggression versus Rodriguez’s effective punches. The eighth was perhaps Ricardo’s best round. He used veteran tricks such as throwing quick punches to the hip area of David. With two rounds to go, the bout was still very close.
"Meserito" Rodriguez unloaded with four consecutive shots to the head of Quijano to begin the ninth and "Dabo" Quijano returned the favor later in the period. On to the tenth and final round this bout was to go. The super flyweight contest was quite eventful.
All of Quijano’s five losses had been by way of decision leading up to Friday night. In the first ninety seconds of the tenth, he wasn’t showing the urgency to avoid a sixth decision defeat. Rodriguez’s face was now badly bloodied, thanks in large part to the same cut from several rounds earlier. The two fighters exchanged head shots to end the crowd pleasing contest. Each fighter raised their respective gloves in victory as the bell sounded.
The ringside judges all delivered scores of 98-92 to award Ricardo Rodriguez the win by way of unanimous decision. SecondsOut had the bout considerably closer at 96-94.
Co-Main Event Report - Valentin Tops Jackson by UD
Tampa native Sammy Valentin turned on the jets and rarely let up in a unanimous decision win over Greg Jackson in a six round welterweight contest.
Hometown fighter Valentin (7-0, 5 KO’s) pushed the action throughout the first round, much to the delight of the Tampa faithful. His opponent from Philadelphia couldn’t keep up with him to any meaningful degree. Jackson (6-3-1, 2 KO’s) stood at nearly six feet tall, yet he was more interested in fighting his central Florida foe close in.
Valentin was going almost exclusively for the head with his fast jab and uppercuts from both hands. He seemed to be looking to wear out his Philly adversary, yet he appeared to to have punched himself out towards the end of the third. Jackson often countered, some with success by way of his wide ranging punches, most notably with a straight right to the face.
Another looping right from Greg found the target in the opening seconds of the fourth. Neither combatant had fought in bouts greater than six rounds in duration leading into tonight. The contest through four was quite fun to watch. He looked to bring everything to Jackson when the bell rang to begin round five. Greg was able to push him back just a bit with his longer arms. They leaned into one another in the closing moments as the contest headed to the sixth and last period.
Each man moved at a slower pace in the final three minutes. Sammy continued his constant throwing of rights and lefts, while Jackson was looking to counter with the perfect answer. In the end, the ringside judges would hold the only answer that mattered. Their scores were identical. All read 60-54 to the winner by unanimous decision, Sammy Valentin.
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June 24, 2016