By Rafael Soto
On Saturday night at the Arena Monterey in Monterey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, over 9,000 fans in attendance got more than something extra. They got what was clearly the best of 2014 to date and only the fourth unification bout since 105 lbs. was inaugurated in 1987.
Over twelve rounds of breathless action, 21-year old WBO 105 lb. titlist Francisco Rodriguez Jr. (15-2, 10 KO) of Monterey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico and 31-year old IBF titlist Katsunari Takayama (27-7, 10 KO) left their hearts in the ring in a battle rich with leather, movement, shifts of momentum, and nary a wasted moment. In the end, Rodriguez rode a knockdown in the third round to a unanimous decision to send the hometown fans home happy.