By Francisco Salazar
(HOLLYWOOD, Calif.) - Lightweight Saul Rodriguez keeps getting better and better with each passing fight. Whether it is with ring generalship or devastating power, Rodriguez is coming into his own.
He was able to put those on display on Saturday night.
Rodriguez scored a one-sided eight round decision over a game, but outclassed Antonio Capulin before a sold-out crowd at the Florentine Gardens.
It looked like it was going to be a short night for Rodriguez in the opening round. Having stopped his previous eight opponents in a row, it looked like Capulin was going to be number nine. During an exchange near the end of the first round, Rodriguez dropped Capulin with a counter left hook to the head. Capulin was able to make it out of the round.
It did not look better for Capulin in the second round, as he was hurt again by a counter left hook by Rodriguez. During an exchange, Capulin suffered a nasty cut over his left eye, likely from a punch. Capulin was able to fight through the cut.
The pace slowed in the middle rounds, which actually favored Capulin, who did well at times fighting from the outside. While he showed heart and determination in truing to get back in the fight, Rodriguez was simply better, landing often with combinations to the head.
There were times Rodriguez looked as though he was going in for the kill in the second half of the fight, but Capulin was able to fight back enough, keeping Rodriguez honest until the final bell.
All three judges scored the bout in favor of Rodriguez, 80-71, 80-71, and 79-72.
Rodriguez, who is co-trained by Eduardo and Robert Garcia, improves to 17-0-1, 13 KOs, while Capulin drops to 14-1, 6 KOs.
Cruiserweight Dmitro Kuchen (23-1, 17 KOs) stopped Bobby Thomas Jr. after the first round. Thomas Jr. (14-4-1, 9 KOs) did not come out for the second round, citing an injury to his upper left rib area.
In an all-out war between unbeaten junior lightweights, Michael Norato (2-0, 1 KO) survived a first round knockdown to win a four round unanimous decision over Alim Jumakhonov. Midway through the first round, Jumakhonov (1-1-1) dropped Norato with a counter right to the head. Norato shook off the knockdown, pressuring Jumakhnov throughout the rest of the bout. Jumakhonov slowed down considerably during the last two rounds, allowing Norato to continue landing punches on the inside. All three judges scored the bout 38-37 in favor of Norato.
In the opening bout of the 'Solo Boceo Tecate' telecast, welterweight Alex Saucedo stopped Jake Giuriceo in the fourth round. It was an impressive showing for Saucedo as it was the first time Giuriceo was stopped in his pro career. Saucedo had an excellent opening round, beating Giuriceo to the punch and landing the telling blows. Giuriceo had a better second round, countering Saucedo to the head. Saucedo swung momentum in the third round, dropping Giuriceo with a left hook to the head. While Giuriceo hung in there, Saucedo's punches looked as though they began taking their toll. Early in the fourth round, Saucedo landed a left hook to the top of Giuriceo's head, buckling his legs. Before Saucedo could follow up, referee Ray Corona waved the fight over at 49 seconds.
In the opening bout of the Top Rank/ Bash Boxing card, junior lightweight Luis Sedano won a one-sided four round decision over Rafael Vazquez. Sedano (5-0-1, 1 KO) dropped Vazquez with a counter straight right to the head midway through the second round. The knockdown seemed to put Vazquez (1-2) in survival mode for the rest of the fight, circling on the outside as Sedano stalked him around the ring. When they did exchange punches, Sedano landed the more telling punches. All three judges scored the bout in favor of Sedano, 40-35, 40-35, and 39-36.
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 (CA) Star newspaper, RingTV, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing