For the vacant IBF bantamweight world title, Emmanuel Rodriguez (18-0, 13 KOs) dropped former world champion Paul Butler (26-2, 14 KOs) two times and dominated him over twelve rounds for an easy unanimous decision win. The scores were 118-108, 120-106, 120-106.
The title was only at stake for Rodriguez, because Butler failed to make the division limit of 118-pounds on Friday - as he came in at nearly three pounds over the limit and made no efforts to take off the extra weight. The two sides then reached an agreement for the contest to go forward.
They were on even terms in the first round, but in the final minute Rodriguez landed a good left hook that sent Butler down and he was in serious trouble. Butler made it up and then Rodriguez began battering him with punches to score a second knockdown. Butler was once again able to rise and managed to survive until the opening bell.
In the second and third, Butler was carefully boxing and being cautious - but Rodriguez was outboxing him, and busted the British fighter's nose.
Rodriguez was stepping it up in the fourth, picking his punches and landing well on Butler. The speed, timing and power of the Puerto Rican fighter was giving Butler a lot of trouble.
After stalking Butler for most of the fifth, Rodriguez began to double up his jabs and planting his feet for power punches in the sixth. Butler was taking no risk in the seventh, as Rodriguez continued to dominate the action with stiff jabs and big punches. Butler was trying to fight at times off the backfoot, but he was getting picked off.
Butler's face was swollen and bruised as they entered the eight round. Rodriguez continued to peck away with a jab and following them up with more shots when Butler would attempt to step in.
The tenth and eleventh rounds were one-way traffic. Rodriguez was handing out a beating and it appeared that Butler's trainer Joe Gallagher was going to stop the contest prior to the eleventh, but he allowed his fighter to go on. And the story was or less the same in the twelfth and final round, as Rodriguez controlled him over the last three minutes.