By Francisco Salazar
STUDIO CITY, Calif. - Saul Rodriguez can box or brawl.
He displayed both Saturday night against Daulis Prescott.
At the expense of Prescott, Rodriguez also lived up to his nickname of 'Kid Dynamite.'
Rodriguez dropped Prescott twice in the seventh round, the final time for good at the Sportsmen's Lodge in this Los Angeles suburb.
With the win, Rodriguez improves to 20-0-1, 15 KOs. Prescott drops to 30-4, 23 KOs.
Rodriguez took the initiative from the opening bell, ripping combinations to the head and body of Prescott. Rodriguez forced Prescott to back up and fight off his back foot during most exchanges.
Prescott attempted to keep up with Rodriguez, but the Mexican-American was too skilled and quick for the fighter from Colombia.
Rodriguez hurt Prescott with a left hook to the head in the third round, but Prescott was able to weather the storm.
Rodriguez was able to outbox Prescott during the middle rounds, beating him to the punch.
Sensing Prescott was slowing down, Rodriguez went on the offensive in the sixth. His persistence was rewarded as he stunned Prescott with a combination to the head.
Rodriguez hit pay-dirt in the seventh round, hurting Prescott midway through the round and ultimately dropping him with a barrage of punches.
After Prescott got up, Rodriguez went in for the kill, pinning Prescott against the ropes. Rodriguez unleashed a left uppercut to the head, dropping Prescott a second time. Prescott stood up, but shook his head, prompting referee Raul Caiz, Sr. to wave the fight over at 2:37.
ON THE UNDERCARD
Light flyweight Carlos Licona won a six round unanimous decision over Cesar Sustaita. Licona (7-0, 2 KOs) was the more-accurate puncher, beating Sustaita to the punch during most of the exchanges. Sustaita (3-3, 3 KOs) did find success landing an occasional counter left hook or right cross, but fought defensively during most of the fight. All three judges scored the bout 60-54 in favor of Licona.
Middleweight Esquiva Falcao stopped Paul Valenzuela in the fourth round. Falcao (14-0, 10 KOs), who won a Silver medal at the 2012 Olympic Games, had his hands full with Valenzuela during the first two rounds. But his pedigree began to show in the third round when he hurt Valenzuela with a left hand to the stomach.
Valenzuela (9-3-1, 6 KOs) dealt with a cut that opened over his right eye in the fourth round, courtesy of a punch from Esquiva. Moments later, a ringside physician examined the cut and deemed it too deep to continue, prompting the fight to be stopped at 1:31.
Heavyweight Andy Ruiz scored a knockout win after the fourth round when his opponent Ray Austin did not answer the bell for round five. Ruiz (27-0, 18 KOs) dropped Austin with a right hand to the head with about a minute left in round one. Ruiz was able to get on the inside of Austin's long reach, landing repeatedly with combinations to the head and body.
Austin (29-7-4, 18 KOs) attempted to time Ruiz with right hands to the head, but rarely connected. After the fourth round, Austin's corner informed referee Raul Caiz, Sr. Austin was unable to continue.
Welterweight Bryan Flores (4-0, 1 KO) won a four round unanimous decision over Jose Mejia (4-0, 1 KO). All three judges scored the bout 40-36 in favor of Flores.
In the opening bout of the Top Rank card, junior middleweight Maxim Dadashev stopped Rashad Bogar (4-7-1, 2 KOs) at 34 seconds of the fourth round. Dadashev is trained by Robert Garcia.
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