LOS ANGELES – Lamont Roach Jr.’s journey toward another 130-pound title fight took another positive turn Saturday night.
The Washington, D.C. native out-boxed Angel Rodriguez in their 12-round WBA elimination match to remain in contention for a second shot at a world title on the Ryan Garcia-Javier Fortuna undercard at Crypto.com Arena. Roach hurt Rodriguez in the fifth round of an otherwise uneventful fight and decisively defeated him on the scorecards of judges Raul Caiz Sr. (116-112), Pat Russell (116-112) and Zachary Young (117-111).
The 26-year-old Roach (23-1-1, 9 KOs) has won four fights in a row since Jamel Herring, then the WBO junior lightweight champion, beat him unanimously in their 12-round championship match in November 2019. Roach also halted the Venezuelan-born, Colombia-based Rodriguez’s 12-fight winning streak.
Rodriguez, 34, slipped to 20-2 (10 KOs).
A right hand by Roach made Rodriguez move away from him at the halfway point of the 11th round, but that was the first shot that seemed to truly affect Rodriguez since the fifth round.
Roach rocked Rodriguez with a counter right that landed with about 1:20 to go in the fifth round. Rodriguez recovered well after losing his balance in that sequence.
About 40 seconds into the fourth round, Rodriguez drilled Roach with a right hand below the belt that sent Roach to the canvas. Roach took some time to recover, but he seemed OK once the action resumed.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.