ELVIS RODRIGUEZ WITH MOST COMPLETE PERFORMANCE TO DATE TO NAB 13TH PRO WIN
In the telecast opener, super lightweight contender Elvis Rodriguez (13-1-1, 12 KOs) scored a seventh-round knockout over Argentina’s Juan Velasco (23-3, 14 KOs), dropping him three times in the round to finish the fight.
“I wasn’t surprised that I was able to dominate this fight,” said Rodriguez. “I was ready to demonstrate my skills with all of these fans here. I trained really well because I knew that Velasco was going to be a tough opponent.”
After a knockout victory in November, Rodriguez returned to action Saturday night and controlled the pace from the outset, circling his opponent and peppering him with combos from the southpaw stance. As Velasco continued to push forward, Rodriguez was able to slow his opponent’s counters with a consistent body attack, landing 42 times to the body over the seven rounds.
The Dominican Rodriguez used a prolific output of power punches to open up a cut and swelling around Velasco’s left eye, which Velasco told his corner was inhibiting his vision between rounds six and seven. Rodriguez landed 97 power punches in the fight at an impressive 63% connect rate.
“In the beginning of the fight, I started feinting and I was moving around a lot,” said Rodriguez. “But when I started making the combinations, I saw that it was hurting him so I kept with the power punches.”
Sensing his advantage, Rodriguez pressed forward early in round seven and put Velasco down hard early in the frame. He remained patient with his follow-up attack, eventually finding a spot for a sweeping right hook that scored him his second knockdown of the round. With one more flurry, and with Velasco unable to keep him at bay, Rodriguez delivered a left hand that put him down a third time, eventually prompting referee Gary Ritter to waive off the bout 2:49 into the round.
“The eye bothered me during the fight,” said Velasco. “The outcome was more because of fatigue than being hurt. I’ll talk to my family next before I decide what my future holds.”
“I thought the fight was going to be over after I first knocked him down,” said Rodriguez. “But he did surprise me because he came back in that round. I just covered myself well for the remainder of that round and tried to take him out. I knew that he was having trouble with his eye. I could see that he was cut on the left eye and was also bleeding from his nose.
“I’m ready for anybody at 140 pounds. Gervonta Davis, Rolly Romero, whoever. I’m ready and prepared.”