Delvin Rodriguez beats Shamone Alvarez to retain USBA Welter Title
By Alex Pierpaoli
Photos by Brendon Pierpaoli
Originally published at KOFantasyBoxing.com
Delvin Rodriguez of Danbury CT retained his USBA welterweight title Friday night at Mohegan Sun in an exciting and hard fought unanimous decision win over Atlantic City’s Shamone Alvarez. Rodriguez rallied in the late rounds, scoring a knockdown in the eleventh, to secure the close victory on the judges’ scorecards. Rodriguez-Alvarez was the Main Event of ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights which broadcast three bouts of the seven bout show, live from Montville, CT.
Rodriguez-Alvarez was a close see-saw battle and a great way to celebrate ESPN2’s return to the Montville casino for the first time of the FNF season. Shamone Alvarez stormed out and won the first round big versus Rodriguez, landing speedy straight-punches from the southpaw stance. The second was much better for Rodriguez; despite Alvarez’ superior southpaw angle it was Rodriguez landing with more power, and a straight right to the head got Alvarez’ attention. A close third round was still on the table in the final seconds when Alvarez landed a combo to seal it in his favor.
Rodriguez lost the fourth round but by then he had clearly made adjustments and kept things competitive with a heavier harder jab that landed infrequently but effectively when it did. By the sixth Rodriguez forehead had begun to bloom red under the speedy repeated blows of Alvarez. But in rounds seven and eight, Rodriguez rallied landing uppercuts to the solar-plexus and hooks to the belly that weakened Alvarez and swung the rounds in the Danbury native’s favor.
In the ninth it became clear Rodriguez had injured his right hand in the previous round, perhaps turning or twisting it on impact in one of those hard shots to Alvarez mid-section. Whenever it happened, Rodriguez was rendered a one-armed fighter and used his legs and a busy left to fend off Alvarez and keep things close.
The eleventh round was big for Delvin Rodriguez when he connected with a straight right to the chin that dropped Alvarez on the seat of his pants which secured the fight by mathematical certainty on the scorecards for Rodriguez.
But Alvarez would not go quietly and both men stormed out for the twelfth, knowing the decision was going to be close. Rodriguez landed a big right that brought a roar from the crowd and Alvarez surged right back rocking the USBA Champ. After the exchange the 3112 in attendance at the Mohegan Sun Arena stood through the final brutal stanza that saw both men hurt each other and swell up and blacken each other’s right eyes.
When the decision came it was unanimous in Rodriguez favor; Judges Don Trella and Joe Pasquale tabbed Rodriguez 114-113 and Glen Feldman had it slightly wider for Dlevin Rodrgiuez at 115-112. FistThingsFirst also saw it 114-113 for Rodriguez.
Afterwards, Rodriguez spoke to reporters in the locker room, his right hand and wrist wrapped with an ice pack.
“I believe it’s just a sprain,” said Rodriguez. “A little sprain…the doctor says it’s not broken.”
Another member of the dot-com media told Rodriguez that Compu-Box only had him throwing 3 right hands in round nine after the injury occurred.
“It hurt!” Rodriguez laughed. “It really hurts. I try not to show the opponent because you never want to show the opponent what you feel, you know, no matter how much it hurt. So I came back with my left hand and hit’em with the hook and a lot of jabs. As a fighter that’s what you gotta do, man. You gotta face whatever’s in there. You gotta adjust and I believe that’s what I did.”
A disappointed Shamone Alvarez said later that his quick start wasn’t in hopes of gaining an early lead on the scorecards but more in character with his usual strategy.
“I was just trying to take it to him,” said Alvarez. “I knew that I was here in his neighborhood. I was just tryin’ to go in and do what I do and just bang him up.”
Although Alvarez felt he deserved the decision he blamed himself for letting the fight get too close.
“I just messed up, man,” Alvarez said. “I gave him one foot too much…that six inches to a foot of distance and then that daggone knockdown.”
With the victory Delvin Rodriguez becomes a likely challenger to IBF Titlist Joshua Clottey, the same man Shamone Alvarez lost to by decision before meeting Rodriguez tonight. If anyone could assess the two it would be the man who has now fought both of them and in that comparison Alvarez likes Clottey over Rodriguez.
“I think Joshua is a little more stronger,” Alvarez opined on the IBF Champ. “I guess because of his center of gravity. He’s a little shorter, like he’s got this center of gravity thing going on. Just a little stronger…He threw more punches faster.”
Alvarez heads home with a record of 20-2 (11) and Rodriguez leaves Mohegan Sun at 24-2-2 (14).
Junior middleweight and 2008 Olympian Demetrius Andrade looked brilliant in the brief but overwhelming assault on Tom Joseph of Ohio. The southpaw Andrade showed off quick jolting rights and straight lefts to the chin and face of Joseph. Andrade snapped back the head of Joseph with a a tribute to the old stand-by Tyson combo of yesteryear; a double right hand- first to the short rib then to the chin in a quick sort of bolo punch motion. Joseph was clearly outgunned from the start and Ref. Dick Flaherty stepped in to rescue him from further punishment at 1:53 of round 1. Andrade is now 3-0 (3) while Tom Joseph drops to 4-2-1.
Also part of the live ESPN2 broadcast, Raymond Serrano, of Philadelphia, beat Jay Krupp of Catskill, NY by six round unanimous decision. After getting dropped by Serrano in the first, Krupp stormed back to sting Serrano before the close of the round in what was one of the more exciting bouts of the night. Despite Serrano’s more skilled boxing throughout there were bursts of wild-swinging action from both men which kept the fight interesting if not competitive. Krupp is the charge of former Mike Tyson trainer Kevin Rooney and the familiar style that made Tyson a star is visible in Krupp’s peek-a-boo head movement, side-step right hands and leaping left-hooks. After six rounds one of the ringside judges scored the bout 58-55 for Serrano while the others agreed on a wider at 60-53. Serrano improved to 9-0 (5) while Krupp falls to 12-2 (5).
In the first bout of the night Tyrone Miles of Camden, New Jersey won a clutchy-grabby but unanimous decision over Chris Aucoin of Ontario Canada. Miles used superior skill and longer arms to score on Aucoin before the Canadian rushed or fell into Miles’ chest, smothering his own offense. Miles leaves CT with a majority decision win in his pro debut while Aucoin falls to 1-2-1.
Cruiserweight Josh Harris of Youngstown, OH, scored the startling one-punch knockout of the evening when he crashed a right hook against the head of David Williams, of Philadelphia, in round number one. Ref. Mike Ortega counted out the crumpled Williams at :21 seconds of the first. Harris is now 3-2-1 (2) while Williams falls to 6-3-1 (2).
Another off-tv bout featured lightweight Frank Trader, of Philadelphia defeating Edwin Rosado of Worcester, MA, by second round TKO. Using the left hand as a range finder, Trader launched a right hand behind a jab and connected with the chin of Rosada, putting him flat on his back. Rosado was up to beat Ref. Dick Flaherty’s count but he had seen enough and stopped the bout at 1:49 of the second. Frank Trader steps into a lightweight division full of talent at 3-0 (1) while Edwin Rosado looks to regroup at 1-5 (1).
In the walk-out bout of the night, Simeon Dunwell defeated Shakha Moore by decision. Moore drops to 10-14-3 (2) while Dunwell improves to 9-0 (2).
Before ESPN2 went on-air, Ringside Dr. Michael Schwartz presented ESPN2’s Joe Tessitore an award from the American Association of Ringside Physicians.
Tessitore was honored “for the work he’s done to promote health and safety in boxing.” For anyone who has seen Tessitore’s work on FNF they know he is a compassionate and enthusiastic observer who is very vocal about when a fighter has absorbed too much punishment and it is good for boxing to have people like Tessitore on its side.
Also, in a special presentation from the United States Naval Academy Capt. Karen Direnzo swore in Ship Serviceman Second Class Brian J. Namiluk who returns to Iraq on March 11. Namiluk entered the ring a civilian and was under no obligation to re-enlist or to return to active duty in a war zone but was doing so to support his Brothers-In-Arms overseas. Namiluk also wanted to make a public statement with his re-enlistment and got together with Mohegan Sun to have the swearing-in ceremony held in the ring on fight night.
“I wanted to do something in front of a lot of people,” said Namiluk. “And I wanted it to be special.” It was, the support and good will in that crowd’s energy was palpable. But as the Naval Officers all filed out of the ring, the announcer, Joe Antonacci, remarked on how Namiluk would be going off and “fighting for our freedom” in Iraq. Wow.
Fighting for our freedom, now that’s where you lost me. That’s not at all what the war in Iraq is about.