Feliciano shocks Rodriguez in Welterweight Brawl at Foxwoods
By Alex Pierpaoli
originally published 3/27/07 on KOFantasyBoxing.com
Danbury, Connecticut’s Delvin Rodriguez was making things harder for himself than they had to be, that much was clear by round five. But what few saw coming were the three knockdowns Jesse Feliciano scored in round eight to knock Rodriguez out in the Main Event of an exciting scrap on ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights card at Foxwoods Casino. Feliciano’s come from behind kayo victory thrilled the crowd but sent many of them home disappointed after seeing their rising welterweight sensation battered into submission.
On paper at least, Las Vegas’ Jesse Feliciano looked like a durable but limited opponent for Delvin Rodriguez. Winning only two of his last seven fights, three of which he lost by knockout, Feliciano was there to make the local kid look good in the bright lights of an ESPN2 Main Event. But no one bothered to tell Feliciano about that and despite taking serious punishment for the first few rounds, the scrappy Feliciano kept pressing the action and hung in there waiting for his moment.
Boxing from long range, Rodriguez was able to land quick accurate heavy punches to the head of Feliciano but each round Rodriguez would lose focus and let Feliciano close the distance where the kid from Vegas could land his own shots in close. As the rounds wore on, a left hand held precariously low, and Rodriguez’ lapses in strategy and focus showed Jesse Feliciano there was going to be an opportunity to catch his more skilled opponent with something damaging if he just kept up the pressure.
In round seven, Rodriguez looked to be fighting fatigue and Feliciano’s short clubbing punches landed more frequently, enough to win the round on one of the three official scorecards. About halfway through round eight Feliciano connected with a big right hand over the jab of Rodriguez which sent the Danbury native reeling towards his own corner. Feliciano jumped right on his hurt opponent and dropped him three times before referee Charlie Dwyer stepped in to halt the bout at 2:48 of round eight. With the win Feliciano improves to 15-5-3 (9) while Rodriguez drops to 20-2-1 (12) and goes home having learned an important lesson: every opponent is a dangerous opponent.
Welterweight southpaw Said Ouali of Patterson New Jersey spent the first round versus Irving Garcia looking to land the right hook over Garcia’s jab. In round two Ouali landed the hook and had Garcia reeling and off balance. A couple of chopping power punches later Garcia was climbing to his feet and ref. Danny Schiavone was cleaning off his gloves. The bout continued but Ouali jumped right on his hurt opponent and Schiavone stepped between the fighters after a second knockdown and called a halt to the action at 1:44 of round two. Ouali improves to 21-2 (13) while Garcia heads home to Vega Baja, Puerto Rico with a record of 14-3-1 (7).
Cruiserweight Sameh Elashry of Brooklyn, NY, flattened Craig Salamone of the Bronx with a single left hook in round two that drew a collective gasp from the assembled. Foxwoods’ ringside medical staff was up and into the ring quickly after the knockdown which was as shocking as it was sudden. Salamone was removed from the ring on a stretcher and taken to a local hospital for observation. Elashry is now 6-4 (2) while Salamone falls to 15-4-1 (7).
In a televised junior welterweight contest, Ray Robinson of Philadelphia, defeated Daniel Sostre of Vega Baja by four round unanimous decision. All three judges scored the bout identically at 40-35 after Robinson scored a knockdown in the fourth and final round to seal the victory. Robinson is now 2-0 while Sostre drops to 2-2.
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