By Marc Livitz: Delvin Rodriguez worked hard this evening (when he wanted) and may have paid the price for not finishing the show. He was dealt a dubious draw this evening versus Joachim Alcine at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The last time boxing fans caught a glimpse of Rodriguez was when he found himself on the receiving end of a battering ram style of attack delivered by a rejuvenated Miguel Cotto in October of last year. The Danbury, Connecticut fighter has become a very familiar face over the years on ESPN’s "Friday Night Fights"; tonight was his seventeenth time as a participant on the program. Joachim Alcine, just two years south of forty had bounced back with two wins in 2014 after a winless 2012 and 2013.
The opening seconds of the orthodox matchup involved lots of jabs and use of much of the ring. Delvin played aggressor as well as counterpuncher at times, while his Haitian cum Montreal foe leaned back and fired from low points in his stance. Rodriguez pushed the action towards the end of round two. He followed his snapping left jab with strong overhand rights. Alcine answered with a notable right to the head of his own in the closing seconds. The back and forth round brought cheers from those in attendance at the legendary venue which once saw Roberto Duran top Sugar Ray Leonard over thirty years ago.
The action slowed a bit in the third and the two combatants fought closer in and engaged in multiple tie ups. The occasional shot was landed by each man. Delvin fired off to the head and body of Joachim to begin round four. He appeared to be in control of the bout, yet Alcine was able to get in close due to Rodriguez’s tendency to briefly drop his guard after he threw his punches. The Montreal resident kept his high guard and continued his slow stepping and firing high. Delvin practically threw Joachim to the canvas in the fifth. He kept his punches straight, while Alcine appeared to be looking to land a looping shot to steal the show. With half the rounds now part of history, Rodriguez appeared ahead but not without some very tedious efforts.
The sixth was much of the same. Delvin was giving his best, yet he found his 38 year old foe to be quite tough and willing to stand in front of him and exchange despite his best efforts. Joachim showed glimpses of the ring knowledge that won him a WBA light middleweight belt seven years ago. It was enough to keep him vertical and capable of answers, but his Connecticut adversary was just too active throughout round seven. He continued to show ring smarts of sorts in the eighth, but there was no power behind his shots, at least not enough to end the bout. A resounding left hook to his head slowed him down near the end of the period. He absorbed a few more shots from Rodriguez but continued to move forward.
The ninth round didn’t offer anything new and the Montreal faithful had gone stone silent. Sporadic shots found their targets from both gentlemen. Alcine opened up the tenth and final stanza with another sighting of his left jab, which had gone missing throughout much of the preceding twenty seven minutes. "Ti-Joa" Alcine waited too long to try and dictate the pace of the evening. His style may have confused and stumped his opponents in the past, but it wasn’t working tonight. The two crossroads fighters made it to the finish line after ten rounds and the judges would now be in control. The result which followed may mean that we could look forward to seeing Delvin Rodriguez (28-7-4, 16 KO’s) on ESPN again, while Joachim Alcine’s desire to not go down possibly saved him tonight. His record now stands at (35-7-2, 21 KO’s).
The three scorecards read as follows: 97-93 (Rodriguez), 96-94 (Alcine) and 95-95.
May 16, 2014