By Francisco Salazar
Jose Felix is not about to let one loss slow him down in his quest for championship gold.
Saturday night was the first towards that goal.
Felix stopped Alejandro Rodriguez in the sixth round before a sellout crowd at the Civic Auditorium in Glendale, Calif.
The bout headlined a Top Rank card and was broadest live on UniMas.
In his last bout on April 12, Felix lost a 12 round unanimous decision to interim 130-pound world title holder Bryan Vasquez in Las Vegas, Nev.
From the opening bell, Felix was in control of the fight, beating Rodriguez to the punch with left hooks to the head and body.
In the third round, a left hook to the face of Rodriguez began to produce a flow of blood from his nose. Rodriguez fought through it and even fought back, connecting on a few punches.
The end came in the sixth round. During an exchange, Rodriguez turned away from Felix and began holding his right hand. He motioned to referee Raul Caiz, Sr. that he was not able to continue, prompting the fight to be stopped at 1:41.
Felix, from Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, improves to 27-1-1, 22 KOs. Rodriguez, from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, drops to 21-15, 12 KOs.
In a battle of unbeaten welterweights, 2012 Lithuanian Olympian Egidijus Kavaliauskas (7-0, 6 KOs) stopped Benjamin Whitaker in the fifth round. Kavaliauskas dropped Whitaker (7-1, 2 KOs) in the second round and twice in the fifth rounds, prompting referee Dr. Lou Moret to stop the bout at 47 seconds.
Jose Zepeda stopped Adrian Garza in the third round of a scheduled eight round super lightweight bout. The southpaw Zepeda (20-0, 17 KOs) walked Garza down throughout the fight until he hit pay-dirt in the third round, where he hurt and forced Garza (8-4, 6 KOs) to take a knee from left hands to the body on three occasions. Referee Jack Reiss stopped the bout after the last knockdown at 2:22.
Lightweight Ivan Najera won an eight round split decision over Stan Martyniouk. Both fighters had their moments early on in the fight, reflecting how even some of the rounds might have been.
Najera pressed forward, attacking the body and connecting with right hands to the Martyniouk's head. Not to be outdone, Martyniouk would land straight right hands to the head of Najera.
Both fighters were guilty of holding or hitting behind each other's head, with referee Jack Reiss having to warn Martyniouk often.
As the bout progressed, Najera began slowing down. Although he continued pressing the fight, he would throw in spurts. Martyniouk looked like he got the better of the exchanges in the final two rounds, landing lead or counter right hands to the head.
One judge score the bout 77-75 for Martyniouk, while the other two judges score the bout in favor of Najera, 79-73 and 78-74.
Najera, from San Antonio, Tex., goes to 14-0, 8 KOs. Martyniouk, from Sacramento, Calif., drops to 13-2, 2 KOs.
In a battle of unbeaten junior lightweights, Luis Sedano won a hard-fought four round unanimous decision. Sedano (3-0, 1 KO) was dropped by a right hand to the head by Diaz seconds before the end of the first round. From the second round on, Sedano was the aggressor, landing at will with right hands to the head. Diaz (1-1) looked like he was hurt in the fourth round, but was able to make it to the final bell. All three judges scored the bout in favor or Sedano, 38-37, 38-37, and 38-36.
Unbeaten and 2012 Olympic Silver Medalist Esquiva Falcao stopped Malcolm Terry in the second round. Falcao (4-0, 2 KOs) dropped Terry with a left hook to the body midway through the first round. After getting up, Terry (6-4, 6 KOs) absorbed a lot of punishment, including getting hit about 15-20 consecutive times prior to the end of the first round. In the second round, Falcao dropped Terry in the second with a left hook to the head. Referee Raul Caiz, Sr. stopped the bout at 49 seconds.
Welterweight Liam Vaughn won a four round unanimous decision over Saul Benitez. Vaughn (9-2, 2 KOs) was busier, but Benitez kept countering with right hands to the head of Vaughn. Benitez (3-6-1) could have been successful had he pressed the fight more, but was content to allow Vaughn to initiate, which may have been his downfall. All three judges scored the bout in favor of Benitez, 40-36, 40-36, and 39-37.
Cruiserweight Alex Zubov won a six round unanimous decision over Harvey Jolley. Zubov (5-0, 4 KOs) used his aggression to get on the inside of Jolly's guard. Zubov landed the more telling blows, but Jolly (15-20-1, 7 KOs) used his ring savvy to tie up and tried countering. As the bout progressed, the action slowed down, but Zubov still controlled the action. All three judges scored the bout 60-54 in favor of Zubov.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. He also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper, RingTV, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or by Twitter at FSalazarBoxing