Edwin Rodriguez, Vic Darchinyan and Chilemba Dazzle on 'Road to Glory' CardWritten by Dion Hall
Last night's card at the Foxwoods MGM Grand televised on HBO and promoted by DiBellla Entertainment was action-packed and filled with what we, as fight fans, love to see – action and knockouts.
Chilemba vs Saunders
The sizzling night started with an 8 round Light Heavyweight bout between Isaac Chilemba (20-1-1, 9 KO's) of Johannesburg, South Africa going up against Rayco Saunders (22-17-2, 9 KO's) of Pittsburgh, PA. The fight was one sided with Chilemba controlling the action early with a potent jab, superior counter punching and effective combinations, cruising to a unanimous decision victory. All three judges scored the bout 80-72.
Lamonakis vs Daniels
In the next bout we saw the ladies take center stage in a 6 round bout between heavyweights Sonya Lamonakis (7-0-2 1,KO's) of Turner Falls, MA taking on Tanzzee Daniels (4-2-1, 1 KO's). This was a close, hard fought bout with entertaining back-and-forth action that concluded with a majority decision win for Lamonakis. Scores of the bout were 59-55 twice and 57-57
Rosa vs Valenzuela
Super Bantamweights Luis Rosa (11-0, 6 KO's) of New Haven, CT and Victor Valenzuela (8-4, 1 KO) of Patterson, NJ go head to head in a bout that was scheduled for 8 rounds. Rosa came after Valenzuela early closing the distance and breaking down the taller Valenzuela. Valenzuela often held in order to fend off the attack of Rosa. This cost Valenzuela in the 4th when the ref deducted him one point for holding. In the 5th, Rosa unleashed a sustained body attack and finally the ref had seen enough, stopping the fight in the 5th.
Kielczweski vs McLaurin
The following undercard matchup was featured Ryan Kielczweski (14-0, 2 KO's) of Quincy, MA and Jeremy McLaurin (9-4, 5 KO's) in a 6 round Super Featherweight bout. Kielczweski was impressive showing great skill and timing as well as an efficient jab. Kielczweski would often throw three or four crisp jabs to set up good combinations. The fight ended with a unanimous decision victory in favor of Kielczweski. The scores were 60-54,60-54,59-55.
O'Connor vs Sosa
The proceeding bout showcased amateur standout and former 2008 U.S. Olympic alternate Danny O'Connor (18-1, 6 KO's) of Framingham, MA against Josh Sosa (9-4, 5 KO's) of Kansas City, KS. O'Connor, who exhibited a boxing lesson, had a balanced head and body attack often landing thudding shots to the body of Sosa. In the 3rd, the southpaw O'Connor landed huge rights to the body followed by right hooks to the head forcing the ref to stop the fight and award O'Connor a third round TKO.
Decarie vs Perez
In the televised portion of the HBO card Antonin Decarie of Quebec, Canada (27-1, 8 KO's) took on Alex Perez (16-1, 9 KO's) of Newark, NJ for the NABF Welterweight Championship.
In Round 1, Decarie dictated the pace by pressing Perez to the ropes and landing shots.
The difference-maker for Decarie was his big right hand. He used it to his advantage consistently landing straight rights to the head and body of Perez.
In the 6th Round, Decarie wobbled Perez with a monstrous hook and from there he smelled blood and dismantled Perez with multiple right hands forcing the ref to stop the fight earning Decarie a 6th round TKO victory.
Darchinyan vs Del Valle
In arguably the most entertaining fight of the night Vic "The Raging Bull" Darchinyan of Sydney, Australia (38-5, 27 KO's), a former three-time champion, faced Luis Orlando Del Valle (16-1, 11 KO's) of Newburgh, NY for the NABF Super Bantamweight Championship.
This was an all action fight that showcased a vintage "Raging Bull" who controlled the majority of the action by occasionally out-boxing and frequently out brawling Del Valle who seemed unable to handle on the awkward style and craftiness of Darchinyan. The Australian battle-tested southpaw took a page out of Zab Judah's handbook, often landing huge lead uppercuts. There was tremendous back and forth action throughout the fight with Del Valle controlling the action at times.
Pictured: Team Darchinyan with Vic front and center
The fight ended in Darchinyan's favor as the Aussie won by unanimous decision. Scores of the bout were 99-91 twice and 96-94.
"I'm disappointed," Del Valle remarked. "He's extremely awkward. I let him impose his style and he got his confidence early. Every time I went inside, he held me. My hat's off to him. He was the better man tonight."
"I'm back," the 36-year-old Darchinyan exuded. "I feel good at this weight; I feel strong. I worked very hard. He's a tough kid. I just felt I was in a different class than him."
Rodriguez vs Escalera
In the main event, Super Middleweight standout Edwin "La Bomba" Rodriguez (22-0, 15 KO's) of Worcester, Ma faced Jason Escalera (13-1-1, 12 KO's) of Union City, NJ.
In his ring walkout, Escalera came out in a 'Jason' mask but it was the fast-rising "La Bomba" Rodriguez who masqueraded.
Pictured: Edwin Rodriguez, center, trainer Ronnie Shields, left, and Promoter Lou DiBella
In Round 1, Rodriguez landed thudding shots to the body and had Escalera pressed to the ropes through out the fight. Throughout the fight Rodriguez landed hard body shots and huge overhand rights on Escalera. And in the 8th, Rodriguez swarmed Escalera forcing the ref to stop the fight giving "La Bomba" a 8th round TKO victory and 15th knockout of his career.
Who's next for the ultra-talented Rodriguez? Is it Kelly Pavlik?
We want Kelly Pavlik -- I'm ready," said Rodriguez, with promoter Lou DiBella near.