Edwin Rodriguez was too much for James McGirt Jr. tonight on ShoBox. (Photo via www.edwinrodriguezboxing.com)
Fargo, North Dakota
Edwin Rodriguez TKO-9 James McGirt Jr.. Rodriguez (17-0, 13 KO) was comfortably ahead on our card (79-73) after eight rounds, when McGirt was told by the referee and by his trainer (father Buddy McGirt) that they were going to give him one more round. The stoppage wasn't at a point of great danger for McGirt, but he just wasn't throwing, and Rodriguez was throwing plenty. McGirt (22-3-1, 11 KO) spent a lot of the fight pressed in corners and against the ropes. He didn't eat a ton of flush shots, and had his moments along the way, but he just was not active enough to keep "La Bomba" off of him. Rodriguez switched between orthodox and southpaw quite a bit during the bout, and was fairly impressive. He has some real balance issues and gets no leverage on his right hand when he switches southpaw, but he remains a very good prospect, and this is his best win to date.
Aaron Pryor Jr. UD-8 Dyah Davis. With no disrespect meant to the two fighters, who put on a fairly entertaining scrap with few lulls in action, I have no idea why they put this fight between the 32-year-old Pryor (15-2, 11 KO) and the 29-year-old Davis (18-2, 9 KO) on the broadcast. Neither of them are serious prospects by any stretch of the imagination, though Pryor, at nearly 6'5" with an 80" reach as a super middleweight, has the sort of raw potential you could do something with, and for the most part he used his height well. Obviously you know who his father is (and boy, does he look like "The Hawk" in the face), but you might not know that Dyah Davis is the son of Howard Davis Jr., a celebrated amateur and Olympic gold medalist who also had a fine pro career, and is now the boxing director of MMA's American Top Team. Pryor won on two scores of 79-73 and one of 78-74, with our card being 79-73 in his favor. Davis just had a devil of a time trying to figure out how to attack Pryor, whose long right hands landed at will and eventually busted Davis open. It's a nice win for Pryor and was enjoyable enough to watch, but the ceiling for both of these guys is pretty low.
Marcus Johnson TKO-3 Kevin Engel. Engel is a club fighter and former kickboxer who has some power in his right hand and no defense. Johnson (20-0, 15 KO) was clearly a far, far superior athlete and just much more skilled. He beat Engel mercilessly in the third round, knocking him down once and getting a standing eight-count on him after that, before the referee stopped the bout after the third round had ended. It was an odd time to stop the fight, but Engel (18-4, 15 KO) was sorely and obviously outclassed.
- Ishe Smith RTD-2 Alexander Pacheco Quiroz. Got the result from Ishe's Twitter account, as he said, "he quit on his stool after the second (round)," and that's good enough for me to run with, because I'm an irresponsible blogger.
- Antwone Smith RTD-5 Martinus Clay. A bounce-back win for Smith (19-2-1, 11 KO) after his loss to Lanardo Tyner in July. Clay (13-27-4, 5 KO) has been around as a punching bag. You may remember his name from any number of losses (Tyner, Tim Coleman, Kassim Ouma, Andre Berto, Harry Joe Yorgey, and on and on). He's won just one of his last 19 fights (1-15-3) since an upset of Matt Vanda in 2006 (Vanda was 34-1 at the time).
- Andy Kolle KO-1 Francisco Ruben Osorio. Kolle (23-2, 17 KO) looks to have been on the card mostly as a known local attraction, as his hometown of Fergus Falls, Minn., is a short jaunt away on I-94. It certainly wasn't for the great competition, as Osorio falls to 12-8 (10 KO) with the knockout, losing his sixth straight fight.
Pasig City, Philippines
- Brian Viloria TKO-7 Liempetch Sor Veerapol. 29-year-old Viloria continues his up-and-down career with a win at flyweight over tiny Thai Veerapol. Veerapol (19-8-1, 12 KO) has been stopped seven times, including fights against the likes of Daisuke Naito, Marvin Sonsona, and Johnriel Casimero. Viloria (28-3, 16 KO) is now fighting as a flyweight and has won two in a row since losing his 108-pound belt to Carlos Tamara in what still stands as a FOTY candidate in January. At this point, Viloria is a known commodity, and the only thing certain is that you never know what to expect with him. On the right night, he could grab another belt at 112. Or he might never score another notable win again. He's as unpredictable as they come.
- Rodel Mayol TKO-7 Pompetch Twins Gym. Mayol (27-5-2, 21 KO) fought for the first time since losing his 108-pound belt to Omar Nino in June, knocking off Pompetch (14-3, 4 KO), who you've probably already guess is also a Thai fighter. It's his second loss in a row. Mayol will always have a shot at contending at 108 or even 112 because of his punching ability, but good boxers are always going to trouble him. This was also fought at flyweight, and Mayol may stay there, or he may go back down if he gets yet another title shot.
- Denver Cuello TKO-1 Kongkrai Kiatpracha. Cuello (25-4-6, 15 KO) is supposedly going to fight lineal junior flyweight champion Giovani Segura on November 27 in Tijuana, or at least BoxRec has it listed. Segura is also scheduled already to rematch Ivan Calderon on April 23. So who knows what'll actually happen? Kiatpracha (17-12, 11 KO) was down twice.
Catano, Puerto Rico
Jose Miguel Cotto TKO-4 Christopher Henry. Cotto (32-2-1, 24 KO) was fighting his first bout as an official Golden Boy fighter, after losing earlier this year to Saul Alvarez in a terrific test for the young Mexican star. Henry (24-21, 18 KO) was not a suitable opponent, but he was a late substitute for Oscar Leon, who had a visa issue. This was at or around the 140-pound limit, but Cotto came into camp for this one weighing a Hatton-esque 190 pounds, and says he's going to move to welterweight from here on out, as if having to lose 43 pounds is a lot better than 50. His real focus should be not getting so fat between fights, but guys who do that generally don't stop doing it, so it's probably best to just appreciate him for the talented, inactive fighter he is.
Jesus M. Rojas SD-6 Reynaldo Lopez. Rojas (16-1, 12 KO) gets his best win over veteran Lopez (31-9-3, 22 KO). Scores were two cards of 59-54 for Rojas, and one at 57-56 for Lopez.
Giacobbe Fragomeni TKO-6 Eduardo Ayala. So! Apparently, Giacobbe Fragomeni, who announced his retirement after a pretty one-sided loss in May to Krzysztof Wlodarczyk, is still fighting. And not only that, but he's doing it in Cancun. Did he simply mistime a spring break trip, get bored, and decide to fight? We'll never know. But Fragomeni (27-3-1, 11 KO) pounded out a six-round TKO over Ayala (17-34-4, 8 KO). Ayala hasn't won a fight since 2005. He turned pro in 1991, and since 2000 has gone 4-21-3.
Mateusz Masternak UD-12 Ismail Abdoul. Masternak is a 23-year-old cruiserweight prospect who has now built up a 21-0 (15 KO) record fighting mostly in Poland, with a few trips to Germany, the Chicagoland area, and one to Newark. Abdoul (36-19-2, 14 KO) is a Belgian journeyman who has lost to a lot of names over his career: Tomasz Adamek, Marco Huck, Enad Licina (twice), Enzo Maccarinelli, Yoan Pablo Hernandez, Giacobbe Fragomeni, Krzysztof Wlodarczyk, Rudolf Kraj, etc. This win netted Masternak the IBO belt, if you care. I don't, but you might.