Rod Salka put on a boxing clinic against Alexei Collado in Friday’s Showtime televised main event and then he stated his case for a world title shot.
Salka was the more intelligent and effective fighter from the opening bell, pounding the body and utilizing his superior movement in an impressive 10-round unanimous decision victory (96-94, 96-93, 96-93) over the previously undefeated Collado at the Monroeville Convention Center in Monroeville, Pa., just down the road from his hometown of Bunola, Pa.
The naturally bigger fighter, Salka scored a third-round knockdown and essentially kept Collado at bay, limiting him to looping, clubbing right hands that rarely landed.
“I’m heading to Carson next week to call out the winner of Figueroa-Belmontes,” said Salka as he celebrated with his Pittsburgh-area fans after the fight. “I want to fight whoever wins that, doesn’t matter to me. I earned a shot at the title.”
Salka was referencing next Saturday’s SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING showdown between WBC Lightweight World Championship Omar Figueroa and Jerry Belmontes at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.
“I dictated the pace of the fight. I kept him where I wanted him and forced him to keep going for that overhand right, which he couldn’t land cleanly. I was throwing first and throwing last, just like I wanted to do. I mixed up my offense well and kept my hands up.”
It was a learning experience for the previously undefeated Collado (18-1, 16 KOs), a former Cuban standout who had over 300 amateur bouts.
“He was smart and that was the difference,” Collado said. “He kept moving. His movement was the problem for me.”