By: Sean Crose
Boxing returned to Showtime on Saturday as Tim Tszyu made his American debut by squaring off against Terrell Gausha at the Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota. First, however, the12-1-1 Elvis Rodriguez appeared in a scheduled 10 rounder against the 23-2-0 Juan Velasco at junior welterweight.
Velasco pursued his man throughout the first. The southpaw Rodriguez remained patient in the second, though he fired at his man more than he had in the first. Rodriguez tagged Velasco early in the third. Still Velasco continued his pursuit. By the fourth, however, Rodriguez began to control the tempo, standing in the middle of the ring and landing well.
Rodriguez looked to be breaking Velasco down in the fifth. In the sixth, the Dominican’s punches landed crisp and hard, wobbling Velasco at one point. Early in the seventh, Rodriguez sent Velasco to the mat. To his credit Velasco got to his feet and fought on courageously. Rodriguez, however, was not to be denied, dripping his man later in the round. Velasco incredibly got up and fought on, but he was taking a terrible beating. After going down a third time before the bell, he was finally counted out.
Next up, the 22-0 Michel Rivera battled the 14-0-2 Joseph Adorno in a scheduled 10 round affair at lightweight. Rivera – looking very much like Muhammad Ali, flicked out his long jab in the first. The second round saw Rivera continuing to maintain range. By the third, Rivera had begun pursuing Adorno. The fourth was rather slow, as Rivera methodically worked his man while Adorno made no real effort to get past Rivera’s jab.
In the fifth it was clear that Adorno simply might not be ABLE to get past that jab. Things picked up a bit in the sixth, as each man landed hard. By the seventh, however, Adorno was on his bicycle, hoping for a counterpunch that might not land. Adorno got more aggressive in the eighth and was able to have his moments against the taller Rivera. Things became somewhat fast paced and exciting in the ninth.
The tenth and final round was also fast and competitive. Adorno was certainly better in the later half of the fight than he had been earlier on, but it ultimately proved to be a bit too little, too late. River was rewarded with a unanimous decision win via the judges.
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