By Cliff Rold
In a one-sided main event, 32-year old Dominican Jr. Middleweight veteran Delvin Rodriguez (27-6-3, 15 KO) of Danbury, Connecticut, made mincemeat of the softly built undefeated record of 34-year old George "Comanche Boy" Tahdooahnippah (31-1-1, 23 KO) of Lawton, Oklahoma en route to a sixth round stoppage win on Friday night at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut. Tahdooahnippah proved tough, but was never in the fight.
Rodriguez came into the fight above the 154 lb. limit he’s been competing around, weighing 155 ½. Tahdooahnippah scaled 156 ½. The referee was Eddie Cotton.
Rodriguez controlled the first with his jab as the slower Tahdooahnippah attempted to land home run bombs in pursuit. In the second, Tahdooahnippah’s openness almost saw him leveled. Inside the final minute, Rodriguez badly hurt him and was dishing out a savage beating. It looked like the fight could be stopped at any time but Tahdooahnippah and made the bell even as he took shot after shot to the head in the corner.
The end of the second round was exciting. The excitement continued in the corner after the round. Believing the ring doctor had stopped the fight, referee Eddie Cotton waved the fight closed on to be corrected. Rodriguez, already celebrating at mid-ring, headed back to the corner to continue his work.
The extra moments of rest did Tahdooahnippah little good. Rodriguez rocked him again before the third round was a minute old. Needing a bit of a breather, Rodriguez willingly went into clinches with Tahdooahnippah, still managing to bang away with flush shots between clutches. Tahdooahnippah landed a winging pair of shots to the head near the minute mark but ate far more leather than he could even fire off before the bell clanged to prolong the beating.
With blood streaming from inside on the bridge of his nose, Tahdooahnippah remained a target in the fourth. Rodriguez couldn’t miss, nailing him to the body and unleashing a barrage to the head to drive Tahdooahnippah to the ropes. Tahdooahnippah slipped shots and moved off the strands, staying alive through one more round. He added another in the fifth and nearly made it through six.
Time, and the punches of Rodriguez, wouldn’t let him see round seven. Hurting Tahdooahnippah late in the sixth with a right, Rodriguez poured it on as Cotton looked on with urgent eyes. After a final left and right, Cotton leapt in to halt the action at 2:41 of the sixth to the objections of the game, but outclassed, Tahdooahnippah.
Interviewed after the fight, Rodriguez dedicated his win to Sandy Hook Elementary School and spoke about his feelings on the tragedy as a father of young children. Looking to the future, he simply said he wants to fight “tough guys” who can keep his career moving. Rodriguez fell short in a title try versus WBA 154 lb. titlist Austin Trout last year and will hope for another title shot down the road.
In an exciting Jr. Middleweight contest that saw both men rocked in the opening round and trading leather throughout, 24-year old Enver Halili (3-0, 1 KO), 153, of the Bronx, New York, kept 34-year old Antonio Marrero (0-1), 152, of Hartford, Connecticut, out of the winner’s circle with a four round unanimous decision victory. It was Marrero’s second professional start after a clash of head led to a “No Contest” in his pro debut. The quicker Halili was able to land more, and cleaner, in exchanges throughout the fight, winning every round on all three judges cards at 40-36. The referee was Eddie Cotton.
The televised opener kicked the night off with an explosive early contender for knockout of the year in the Lightweight division. 24-year old Chris Howard (15-2-1, 7 KO), 135 ¼, of Cincinnati, Ohio, used a double jab to distract and a picturesque right hand down the pipe to concuss 31-year old Mongolian Bayan Jargal (17-4-3, 11 KO), 135 ¼, of Arlington, Virginia, in the third round. Jargal, badly dazed, beat the count of ten but could not get his legs steady and referee Danny Schiavone halted the contest at 1:46 of the round. Howard halted a two-fight losing streak after posting an unbeaten mark through his first fifteen fights. It was the first knockout loss of Jargal’s career.
The card was televised in the U.S. on ESPN2 as part of its “Friday Night Fights” series, promoted by Star Boxing.
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene and a member of the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]