By Francisco Salazar
Fringe super middleweight contender Demond Nicholson held off a strong challenge from Isaac Rodriguez to win by knockout in round six at the Live! Casino in Hanover, Maryland.
The scheduled 10 round fight was a crossroads bout between two punchers. Nicholson was coming off a knockout loss to Jesse Hart on Apr. 18, while Rodrigues had won his previous eight fights.
Rodrigues was the aggressor from the opening bell, walking Nicholson down in an attempt to score with hooks and crosses. Nicholson fought off the ropes, countering Rodrigues with hooks of his own.
Nicholson (19-3-1, 18 knockouts), who resides in nearby Laurel, chose to stand toe-to-toe, producing back-and-forth exchanges between the two punchers. Rodriguez stunned Nicholson momentarily midway through round four, but was not able to follow up with anything of substance.
Both fighters pummeled each other during rounds five and six, landing at will. In round six, Nicholson trapped Rodrigues in a corner and unleashed a left-right to the body, dropping Rodrigues to one knee. Rodrigues struggled to get up, prompting referee Harvey Dock to stop the fight at 2:07.
Rodriguez, who resides in Belem, Brazil, drops to 25-3, 20 KOs.
In the co-feature, junior welterweight Mykal Fox of nearby Forestville won a 10 round unanimous decision over former world titleholder DeMarcus 'Chop Chop' Corley.
The taller and younger Fox, who is half the age of the 44-year-old Corley, landed the sharper and more-effective punches throughout the fight.
The southpaw Corley spent most of the fight walking Fox down. Corley initiated exchanges, but he looked sluggish and a step slower, missing with hooks or crosses to the head. Corley's best work was in the final two rounds, but it was not enough to win the fight.
Scores were 96-94, 96-94, and 98-92 for Fox, improves to 18-0, 4 KOs.
Corley, who resides in Washington, D.C. and has been fighting as a pro since May of 1996, falls to 51-32-1, 28 KOs.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing