By Francisco Salazar
Lightweight David Rodela looked like he wanted to make a statement in his six round bout against Juan Garcia. However, it was Garcia who almost stole the show at the expense of Rodela. Rodela did enough to win enough rounds and had to hold off Garcia’s late rally to win a six round split decision victory before an almost sellout crowd of 1,741 at Club Nokia-LA Live in Los Angeles, CA.
Photos: Big Joe Miranda
Click the photo to go to the next photo
The bout headlined a five-bout “Fight Night Club” card, presented by Golden Boy Promotions.
Ironically, prior to his bout against Garcia, Rodela also won his last two bouts by split decision. In January, Rodela was taken the distance over 10 rounds by Marlon Aguilar, scoring the victory. Rodela scored the biggest win of his young career in October when he won an eight round split-decision over former world champion Kevin Kelley.
Garcia was hoping to rebound from two knockout losses in a row, the first by Cornelius Lock last March and in his most recent bout, to Jose Hernandez.
Rodela began the bout aggressively, going after Garcia in the opening round. Rodela landed the harder and sharper punches of the two in the first two rounds.
Garcia came on in the third round, throwing and landing more combinations. Towards the end of the third round, Garcia landed a counter right hand to the chin, causing Rodela’s knees to wobble.
Rodela came on in the fourth round and took control of the action. He hurt Garcia during the round and it looked as though Garcia’s gloves touched the canvas. Rodela hesitated to hit Garcia, not wanting to get disqualified. Referee Pat Russell ruled that Garcia’s gloves did not touch the canvas. Rodela continued to press the action in the round, raining down hard overhand right hands to the head of Garcia.
However, Garcia came on in the fifth, taking the initiative and landing his share of hooks and straight right hands behind a jab.
Garcia controlled the final round of the fight, landing almost at will against Rodela. Attempting to take advantage of this momentum, Garcia gained more confidence and looked as though he was looking for at least a knockdown in the final minute of the last round. However, Rodela was able to hang on until the final bell.
One judge scored the bout 57-56 in favor of Garcia, while the other two judges scored the bout 59-55 for Rodela. Fightnews.com scored the bout 57-57 even.
After the fight, Rodela admitted to hurting his right hand during the fight.
“I hurt my hand at the beginning of the fourth round when I hit him on top of the head,” said Rodela, who is now unbeaten in his last 12 bouts. “I’ve had a fracture before so I’m hoping it’s just a sprain.”
Asked about the competitiveness of the fight, Rodela admitted to being hurt by Garcia.
“He caught me a few times and he wobble me. I’ll give him that. The thing though is that I have sparred against Ricky Hatton and Manny Pacquiao. You have to know when to take your time and be a smart banger. That’s something Manny has said to me.”
Rodela, from Oxnard, CA, improves to 13-1-3, 6 KOs. Garcia, from Los Angeles, CA by way of Phoenix, AZ, falls to 14-3, 5 KOs.
Lightweight Luis Ramos scored an impressive fifth round knockout over veteran Baudel Cardenas in a scheduled six round bout.
Ramos scored a knockdown in the first round with a left hand to the body of Cardenas. Although he winced in pain on the canvas, Cardenas stood up and fought on.
As the bout progressed, it was clear that the southpaw Ramos was the more-polished fighter of the two. Ramos worked well behind a jab, landing hard combinations to the head and body. Ramos continually landed hard left hands to the head of Cardenas.
Cardenas hung in there, attempting to counter and work on the inside. At times, he landed an occasional right hand to the head, but nothing equal to the amount of punches he took from Ramos.
The end came in the fifth round as Ramos landed a well-placed counter right hand to the head of Cardenas, dropping him to the canvas. Cardenas struggled to get up as referee Pat Russell counted him out at 2:26.
Ramos, from Santa Ana, CA, improves to 11-0, 6 KOs. Cardenas, from Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, falls to 18-17-2, 6 KOs.
In a battle of unbeaten prospects, Featherweight Charles Huerta scored an impressive third round knockout over Noe Lopez in a scheduled six round bout.
The southpaw Lopez opened the bout by counting Huerta to the head. He would make Huerta miss and landing straight left hands.
Huerta was able to work from the center of the ring in the second round. He began to catch Lopez with right hands to the head. Huerta’s combinations landed more effectively than those of Lopez
Huerta opened the third round with a short left hook to the head of Lopez that dropped him onto the canvas. Lopez stood up and fought on, but was dropped by a one-two combination to the head. Lopez stood up again, but was dropped a third time by a counter right hand to the head. Referee Pat Russell stopped the bout at 1:02, thus resulting in the knockout.
“I admit I felt a little shaky in the opening round,” said Huerta, who admitted finding out about the southpaw Lopez a week ago. “I had to figure him out in the opening round.”
“I just took my time as the bout went on. Actually, I felt him getting winded as the bout went on. I felt good with this bout.”
Huerta, from Paramount, CA, goes to 11-0, 6 KOs. Lopez, from Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, drops to 4-1, 3 KOs.
Lopez-Serrano Featherweight Ricky Lopez had his way with Rufino Serrano, winning a clear-cut four round unanimous decision.
The shorter Lopez countered effectively with right hands to the head. As Serrano mounted any offense, it was quickly stymied by effective right hands by Lopez.
Serrano would have been wise to use an effective jab to keep Lopez at bay. However, Lopez easily went inside of Serrano’s reach and landed an abundant amount of right hands to the head.
Serrano was at his best fighting on the inside. He was able to land uppercuts and short right hands on Lopez.
However, Lopez dominated the final stanza, almost landing at will as Serrano slowed down considerably. Lopez was the fresher fighter of the two as he finished strong.
All three judges scored the fight 40-36, as did Fightnews.com.
Lopez, from Oxnard, CA by way of Denver, CO, improves to 4-0, 1 KO. Serrano, from Santa Maria, CA, drops to 1-1.
In the walkout bout of the evening, Lightweight Jose Roman survived a first round knockdown to knock Ramon Flores out in the second round of a four round scheduled bout.
Time of the knockout was 46 seconds as a left hook hurt Flores and eventually dropped by a barrage of punches.
Roman, from Santa Ana, CA, goes to 5-0, 4 KOs. Flores, from Wilmington, CA by way of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, drops to 3-6-1, 3 KOs.
Notes: – Thursday night’s card was the first in a series of club shows at Club Nokia-L.A. Live. The next scheduled card will be Thursday, July 30th.
– Kudos to matchmaker Golden Boy Promotions matchmaker Eric Gomez for putting together a solid card.
– Welterweight champions Shane Mosley, Middleweight contender Sergio Mora, Junior Welterweight contender Victor Ortiz, and actor Mario Lopez took in the action from ringside.
– Mario Solis, Bernard Hopkins, and Doug Fischer called the action live on Versus Network.