Isaac Hlatshwayo picks up IBF Welterweight Strap in Exciting Split Decision over Delvin Rodriguez
By Alex Pierpaoli
After twenty-four competitive rounds fought in different corners of the world, it seems Isaac Hlatshwayo is just slightly better than Delvin Rodriguez and he proved it at Mohegan Sun Arena this past weekend. South Africa’s Hlatshwayo bested Danbury Connecticut native, Rodriguez by split decision in an exciting and competitive match before a good-sized crowd in Uncasville to cap a seven bout card by promoter Joe Deguardia’s Star Boxing. In victory Hlatshwayo picked up the recently vacated IBF welterweight title with the victory, the title Joshua Clottey relinquished earlier this year in order to face Miguel Cotto in June.
Rodriguez started fast with something to prove back here in the states for the rematch and Hlatshwayo slows things down with some grappling in the final minute of the first. Coming out of a clinch in round two Rodriguez rocks the South African and Hlatshwayo covers up, carefully chopping at Rodriguez with short counterpunches from in close. Hlatshwayo landed a right at the end of the round that seemed to get Delvin’s attention. Second round was better for Hlatshwayo but not enough, both guys looking for leverage and punching room in close, Hlatshwayo consistently getting in his licks w=even though it’s d-rod with the bigger, flashier punches in the early going. Very close competitive fight, neither guy wants to give up any perceptible advantage or edge. In the fourth they’re starting to give each other punching room and it’s Hlatshwayo who takes advantage of the change in the fight’s tempo. Both men are hurting each other and landing with power. Rodriguez’ eye is closing but Hlatshwayo’s is swelling fast as well. In the seventh Hlatshwayo lands a hard right that Rodriguez didn’t see coming but the South Africa is unable to capitalize on the damage done. In the eighth Rodriguez looks exhausted and he’s huffing and puffing. But Hlatshwayo is hesitant to go on the assault, either because of respect for d-rod’s power or because he may be just as exhausted, he’s just better at masking it. Rodriguez spins himself completely around in round
Rodriguez drops to 24-3-2 (14) with the loss while Hlatshwayo moves into the ranks of those wonderful welters with the IBF belt and a record of 29-1-1 (10).
De Santo scored a kn0ockdown in round one with a left hand bolt from the southpaw stance De Santo admires his handiwork in the third, dropping his hands and popping away from the outside until he’s caught with a Torres right and dropped for an eight count, Torres starts the final frame in the southpaw stance and switches back and forth to orthodox trying to get a good angle on De Santo. De Santo has to settle for a Unanimous draw in a fight that was within his grasp.
Garbatt puts on the pressure from the start with Shea’s face blooming red as the pay-off for repeated well placed right hands. Also, Garbatt enters the ring to Zeppelin’s whole lotta love which is A-OK for this ringside observer. Shea doing lots of moving and pumping up and down on her feet on the outside but when she steps in she stops moving and eats punches. The second sees Shea attacking the body but she’s still eating lots of leather from Garbatt. In the Garbatt lands a crunching right to the face of Shea that puts her down in a creepy fashion that forces
riley battering away throughout round 1 scores a knockdown after a swarm of punches and a right at the bell that catches Taylor on the cheek as he’s turning away and finishes things.
Davis is squared up and very aggressive in the first, charging out and bulling Serrano about the ring. Serrano coolly gave him movement and angles and heats up in the second, landing more often with accurate shots while on the outside. In the third he ends things.
Watching Simms is about as exciting as watching interest accrue in today’s market, Simms lands where it counts but not often, he boxes at a heavyweight’s pace, loads up and throws big flashy power punches that are effective when they land. Simms power punches punctuate Upshaw’s multiple jabs… an overhand right to the mouth topples Upshaw in round, a left hook had wobbles him earlier in the round. Lots of boos for Simms after a lackluster round seven. Upshaw finishes strong and Simms doesn’t but Simms did enough effective punching to carry the decision Julie Lederman tabbed Upshaw the winner 76-75, overruled by glen Feldman and don Trella who both saw the bout 77-74 for Simms. Simms improved to 25-0-1 (11) while Upshaw falls to 11-4-1 (5).
Andrade enters the ring to smooth criminal and the partisan crowd is enthusiastic about the late king of pop because the place erupt6s in cheers. Andrade fights from a wide stance and is crazy fast. A left uppercut splits the guard of Greenleaf and results in a delayed reaction knockdown that sees Greenleaf stumble backwards through the ropes
Demetrius Andrade keeps rolling on, now at 6-0 (5) while Chad Greenleaf looks to regroup with a record of 11-13-1 (5).
Send comments or questions to Alex Pierpaoli at: KOFantasyBoxing@gmail.com