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Mario Rodriguez Blitzes Karlius Diaz In One Round

By Jake Donovan

Mario Rodriguez made quick work of Karluis Diaz in front of his hometown fans, scoring a body shot knockout in the opening round of their Televisa-televised main event Saturday evening. The bout headlined a night of knockouts at Auditorio Luis Estrada Medina in Guasave, Mexico.


Boasting just two wins in his past six contests (amazingly with three draws in that span), Rodriguez was determined to make a statement in his homecoming fight. He couldn’t have picked the better night or opponent to get the job done, as Diaz boasted a glossy record but no notable wins.

Rodriguez’ greater experience – if less impressive results –was evident early on, as he applied pressure against a seemingly clueless Diaz. The pace was fast but one way, and came to a sudden end when Rodriguez connected with a right hand upstairs and a left hook to Diaz’ ribcage.

The shot forced Diaz to double over before collapsing to the canvas in a neutral corner. The referee began to count, but quickly waved off the bout at just over two minutes into the opening round after realizing that the Colombian wasn’t getting up.

Medical attention was immediately summoned, as Diaz lay motionless on the canvas for nearly a minute before opening his eyes to alert all that he was at least conscious.

The win is Rodriguez’ second straight – the first time in more than two years he can claim that to be the case – as he improves to 12-6-4 (8KO). With the win came a regional title, which puts him in line for a future shot at alphabet titlist Kuzoto Ioka of Japan sometime in 2012.

Diaz falls to 16-3 (12KO) with the loss, snapping a five fight win streak. All three of his career losses have come inside the distance.

The televised co-feature saw Pedro Guevara cruise to a seventh round stoppage of Jorge Estrada in their regional junior flyweight title fight.

Guevara was in control for most of the night, though Estrada managed to make his presence felt every so often. The duration of the fight saw Guevara boxing on his toes, pumping his jab and driving a right hand behind it seemingly at will. Estrada fared well whenever the two exchanged on the inside, but spent most of the evening fighting in reverse and counterpunching mode.

The fight ending sequence came late in the seventh, when Guevara slipped a jab and scored with a left uppercut and right hand that left Estrada loopy. Guevara slipped in a left hook for good measure, prompting the referee to intervene, waving off the contest as Estrada was deemed unfit to continue.

The win is Guevara’s first in nearly a year as he improves to 15-0-1 (10KO) and returns to his knockout ways (sort of). The two-fisted boxer puncher had scored five straight stoppages before being held to a draw in his last fight this past May. Each of his last two contests have come against the main event fighters, with the aforementioned draw verdict coming against Rodriguez, five months after stopping Diaz in three rounds.

Estrada heads back to Colombia with his record now at 13-6 (4KO). All six losses have come within his past nine contests.

Garnering screen time with plenty of time to kill before the main event was undefeated bantamweight Ivan Morales, who had his way in picking apart grossly overmatched Arcadio Salazar en route to a third round stoppage.

The youngest fighting brother of Mexican legend Erik Morales had no problems with his journeyman opponent, boxing like a dream and landing straight left hands at will from the southpaw stance. Salazar was out on his feet at the end of the second round and battered throughout the third before the referee finally came to his rescue while trapped in a neutral corner.

Morales improves to 13-0 (8KO), though the 20-year old prospect is ready for an upgrade in competition. Salazar (7-7-2, 0KO) has been knocked out in each of his seven losses, having never scored a stoppage in any of his wins.

Translation: Morales had nothing to fear nor worry about any sort of punch resistance offered by his opponent. Unless he wants to be the latest in a long list of fighters content to get by on their familial blood lines, he’d be better served to endure stiffer challenges as he enters the prospect stage of his young and rising career.

The show was presented by Golden Boy Promotions and aired live on Televisa, as well as via online simulcast on att.net/boxeo.

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter at twitter.com/JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]
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