By Francisco Salazar
Flyweight contender Francisco Rodriguez Jr. stopped Elias Joaquino in the seventh round of a crossroads bout Saturday night.
The 10 round bout took place at the Arena Oasis in Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Televisa (in Mexico) aired the fight.
After suffering back-to-back losses to Donnie Nietes and Moises Fuentes in 2015, Rodriguez (24-4-1, with 16 KOs) has gained momentum in recent fights. The former world minimumweight titleholder has now won his last six bouts.
In his last bout on June 3, Rodriguez, who resides in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, knocked out overmatched Hector Gusman in the third round.
Jaoquino (11-1-1, with 6 KOs), who resides in Manila, took a significant step up in opposition. The Filipino fighter had only faced three fighters with winning records thus far in his career.
Rodriguez overwhelmed the Filipino boxer throughout the contest and at no time was he even close to being in trouble.
By the second round, Rodriguez was landing just about every punch variation in his arsenal. In the third, a solid hook to the liver finally sent Joaquino down to the mat, but he rose to continue the battle.
The fourth round did not differ much from the previous ones, as Rodriguez continued to punish his opponent, but Joaquino showed heart and did not stop, and in fact he astonished ringside observers with his continued resistance. The fifth and sixth rounds were more damaging for the Filipino, who miraculously continued to fight on in the contest.
The end finally came at 2:33 of the seventh, when another vicious hook to the liver finally stopped the overwhelming punishment. The referee was Celestino Castro.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper, RingTV.com, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing