Earlier tonight, Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing presented this week’s edition of ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights” from the Roseland Ballroom in NYC. Headlining the card was the much anticipated jr. middleweight showdown between Delvin Rodriguez and Pawel Wolak. The fight had boxing insiders buzzing with excitement as soon as it was announced, and it ended up living up to the hype and some.
The two warriors wasted no time in getting things going as Wolak came out pressuring Rodriguez from the opening bell, looking to swarm the former welterweight world title challenger, and break him down with his constant pressure. Rodriguez kept his cool though, and boxed beautiful from the outisde, landing hard three and four punch combinations behind a stiff jab, and devastating lead right uppercut.
As each round progressed, Wolak continued to up the pressure, but the more he seemed to pressure, the more combinations Rodriguez landed. Wolak would excite the crowd by bull-rushing Rodriguez to the ropes, but then Rodriguez would answer with hard combinations that snapped Wolak’s head back, sending the crowd into a frenzy.
By the middle of the fight, the packed house in attendance was on their feet, each side chearing for their fighter. Just as the fighters would trade shots back and forth inside the ring, the crowd would go back and forth between chants of “Pawel Pawel” and “Delvin Delvin” on the outside.
DELVIN RODRIGUEZ (L) VS. PAWEL WOLAK
Wolak’s face began to show severe swelling in the 6th, with his right eye becoming grotesquely swollen. The ringside doctor kept a close look at the eye between rounds, but allowed Wolak to continue.
Each and every round had great two-way action, with both fighters looking to land that one big punch that would close the show.
In the 10th and final round with Wolak still pressuring, Rodriguez rocked him with a hard left hook. Wolak rocked back on his heals and Rodriguez jumped all over him. The round ended with Rodriguez and Wolak exchanging bombs in the middle of the ring, ending what was clearly a fight of the year candidate.
The crowd waited anxiously as the judges card’s were tallied. The first judge scored the bout 97-93 for Rodriguez, with the other two judges scoring the fight dead even at 95-95, for the majority draw.
It was yet another bitter sweet decision for Rodriguez, as he seemingly once again came up on the end of a controversial decision, but seemed to put the jr. middleweight division on notice that he is a force to be reckoned with. With the decision Rodriguez record now stands at 25-5-3, 14KO’s while Wolak’s is 29-1-1, 19KO’s.
SERRANO (L) WINS SLUGFEST OVER SOSTRE
In th co-feature bout of the evening, Raymond “Tito” Serrano improved to a perfect 16-0 with a hard fought decision over Daniel Sostre.
Serrano, fighting for the first time below the welterweight limit, used his superior boxing ability, and punching power to outwork Sostre for much of the fight.
Sostre, to his credit, landed some looping shots, but Serrano was too sharp and too strong, ultimately winning the eight round decision by scores of 78-74, 78-74, 77-75.
With the win Serrano improved to a perfect 16-0, 8KO’s, while Sostre drops to 11-4-1, 4KO’s.
ROONEY KNOCKOUTS VERA
In the first bout of the evening, Star Boxing’s Publicist, and the son of world renowned trainer, Kevin Rooney, Kevin “Kid” Rooney scored a devastating first round knockout over Elmer Vera in their four round jr. middleweight contest.
Rooney came out looking to measure Vera with his jab, as Vera charged forward winging wild punches.
Near the end of the round Rooney staggered Vera with a hard left hook. Sensing his opponent was hurt, Rooney jumped all over him, landing a hard right hand that sent his opponent reeling. Just as the bell was sounding to end the round, Rooney landed a vicious overhard right that sent Vera down in a heap. Vera attempted to get to his feet, but fell again, causing the referee to call a halt to the contest at 3:00 of the first round. With the win Rooney improves to 2-0, 1KO, while Vera drops to 0-2.
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