By Christopher P. Cook and Aaron B. Dye at ringside
Tampa, FL – WBC# 12 bantamweight Ricardo “Meserito” Rodriguez moved down a division to hammer out a ten round majority decision over local favorite Daniel “Alacran” Lozano on Friday night at the A La Carte Event Pavilion in Tampa, Florida. In victory, Rodriguez earned two title belts and stepped closer to a world title fight. Televised live on Telemundo, All Star Boxing presented an electrifying seven fight card in front of a capacity audience at the A La Carte.
In the main event, Daniel Lozano (13-3-0, 10 KOs) and Ricardo Rodriguez (12-2-0, 4 KOs) waged an all-out war in a memorable flyweight contest. Lozano, the natural aggressor, opened up the first round by pressing the action but was caught with quick shots by Rodriguez when he bored in. It was apparent in the middle of the second that Rodriguez was now more than willing to fight Lozano’s fight. With both fighters coming forward with ill-intent on every punch, it became a matter of who was more active. Lozano stayed committed to his left hook to the body and ate several punches every time he went downstairs.
Rodriguez picked up the pace as Lozano slowed in the third, teeing off on Lozano’s head at will. The action, while non-stop, favored the far more active Rodriguez, who was out-landing Lozano by a wider and wider margin. A right hand, left hook combination rocked back Lozano in the fifth, his defense became nonexistent. Rodriguez punctuated the round with a double left hook to the head followed by yet another double left hook to the head. A monstrous shot sent Lozano’s mouthpiece souring in a heated exchange during the sixth round. Lozano was gifted by several precious seconds of reprieve when the referee called time to return the mouthpiece immediately rather than wait for a break in the action.
Lozano was effective in spurts but it was Rodriguez who operated like a surgeon from rounds seven to nine. Both boxers put it all on the line in the tenth and went to war in the center of the ring. Lozano landed a pair of right and left hooks high on the head of Rodriguez that had him hurt for the first time in the bout. Rodriguez held his own but was stood up from a solid right square to the face as he moved forward. Lozano sensed blood in the air and went for the knockout but it was too little, too late. Rodriguez was awarded a well-deserved and hard fought majority decision, although his biggest opponent seemed to be lone judge who scored the bout even at 95-95. The other two judges saw the bought much to the favor of Rodriguez, 98-92 and 97-93 and earning the WBC FECARBOX title along with the WBO Latino super flyweight belt.
In undercard action, Tampa’s Omar Albanil (4-0-0, 2 KOs), 153.8 lbs., scored a knockout victory over Moises Hernandez (1-1-0, 1 KO), 156.4 lbs. After an uneventful and nondescript first round, Albanil landed a crushing left hook, flooring Hernandez. Hernandez was able to rise before the count of 10. The left hook would come to haunt Hernandez in the second, as Albanil found a home with his left to the midsection causing a delayed stumble and knockdown in the middle of the round. While Hernandez survived the trip to the canvas and finished out the round, Albanil was intent to end it in the third. A series of hard left hooks crashed into the head of Hernandez, followed by a solid right hand forced the referee to stop the action at the 1:22 mark.
42 year-old veteran heavy bag Ali Tareh (13-11-5, 5 KOs), 150.4 lbs., clashed with poorly skilled Javier Garcia (7-9-1, 2 KOs), 148.2 lbs., over six nondescript rounds. Garcia caught Tareh against the ropes at the end of the second, throwing a dozen or so unanswered blows to the body. Tareh weathered the shots to end the round, only to find himself against the ropes for most of the third. Garcia took advantage of Tareh’s inactivity and kept his hands moving with little resistance. Tareh became more aggressive as the bout progressed as he finally let some punches flow. Neither fighter landed a telling blow in the fight but Tareh was left bloodied and bruised by the bout’s end. All three judges scored the bout for Garcia by marks of 59-55 twice and 60-54.
Santiago Arroyo (2-0-0, 2 KOs), 118 lbs., easily bested Hiriam Del Rio (0-2-0), 115.8 lbs., over four rounds. The first stanza was marred with low blows by Arroyo against the shorter, stalkier Del Rio. Arroyo dictated the pace throughout the bout, landing at will against his overmatched opponent. Del Rio refused to get out of a high guard which exposed his body to a vicious assault to the midsection. After dominating each round, Arroyo’s continuous work to the body finally forced Del Rio to drop his guard. Lowering his hands proved fatal as Arroyo launched a barrage of punches that stunned Del Rio in the fourth, culminating with the referee stopping the one-sided bout at the 1:23 mark of the final round.
Rising star and local favorite Sammy Valentin (4-0-0, 3 KOs), 146 lbs., ended the night with a bang, decimated his debuting opponent Christopher Jimenez, 142.6 lbs., inside of a minute. Valentin wasted no time in launching his punches and landing just about every one of them. Overwhelmed completely the referee mercifully stopped the bout at the 0:39 mark of the opening round. The referee jumped in at the appropriate time, saving Jimenez from unnecessary punishment. However, Valentin landed two clubbing blows after the referee jumped in, nearly crumbling Jimenez to the canvas.
Justin Pauldo (5-1-0, 3 KOs), 133.8 lbs., saw his unbeaten record come to an end at the hands of Efrain Cruz (4-0-0, 1 KO), 135.6 lbs. Pauldo had difficulty timing his punches while Cruz deflected many of his shots as he bulled forward and was simply outworked. Pauldo’s combinations came out in the third, with both boxers trading blows but Cruz’s shots carried the heavier impact. Pauldo settled in with his punches in the fourth, finding his distance and timing that he lacked in the earlier rounds. As his punches connected, Cruz’s aggressiveness dwindled and kept him at distance. Pauldo finished the round with a nice four punch combination on the inside.
Whatever momentum Pauldo built up was halted by a powerful left hook in the fifth, which turned the tide back over to Cruz. After doubling-up punches in the prior round, Pauldo reverted back to throwing single shots at a time. He continued to try and work off the ropes but failed to land any effective punches as he remained mainly on the defensive. Cruz’s punches landed at a continually higher rate and blocked most of the flashier shots from the crowd favored Pauldo. The judges scored the contest a split decision for Cruz, 59-55 twice with a dissenting score of 58-56 for Pauldo.
Opening the night of boxing in Tampa, debuting super middleweights Victor Darocha, 167 lbs., and Luis Albaladejo, 165 lbs., squared off in a four round match. An explosive opening round ensued, as both fighters came out throwing power punches nonstop for the three minutes. Darocha threw caution to the wind while Albaladejo picked his shots with greater ring intelligence, landing at a much higher accuracy.
Darocha found his mark in the third, landing a left hook and glancing right hand that sent Alabaladejo to the mat, more due to exhaustion than the effectiveness of the punches. After surviving the mandatory eight count, Darocha’s right hand found a home in the face of Albaladejo that sent him reeling into the ropes. After landing a succession of unanswered blows that sank Albaladejo in the middle ropes, the referee correctly ruled a knockdown as the ropes were the only thing holding him up. He made the count once again and attempted to backpedal to avoid further punishment, only to discover his bicycle had a flat tire. In the fourth, Darocha mauled his opponent, who was still out on his feet and looking to the referee for help, which prompted referee Frank Santore to mercifully call a halt to the action at the 0:46 mark of the round.
All Star Boxing and the popular Boxeo Telemundo series returns on August 7, 2015 at the Blackberry Auditorium in Mexico City, Mexico.