Ashley Theophane pulled off the biggest win of his career in an upset victory over Delvin Rodriguez. via www.ashleytheophane.com
Ashley Theophane MD10 Delvin Rodriguez - This one is a truly puzzling decision. After a close first round, Rodriguez seemed to pull away from Theophane for the next five rounds, throwing twice as many punches and landing the harder shots. At the start of round 7, it seemed that Theophane needed a knockdown for a win, but I guess that wasn't the case. Rodriguez was again cruising in round 7 when Theophane finally caught Rodriguez with one of his wild right hands, hurting Rodriguez and causing him to stumble around the ring a bit. The last three rounds were all very competitive, as Theophane came on strong, but you could have still argued that Rodriguez won at least one of those rounds. Considering that Rodriguez's promoter put together the card and that he was the obvious crowd favorite, it was shocking when the 95-95, 96-94, 96-94 split decision came out in favor of Theophane, who shouldn't have possibly won more than five rounds, and who you would have needed to give every close round to in order to even score it a draw.
Rodriguez has had some of the worst luck out there. He was a rising star when Jesse Feliciano knocked out Rodriguez late in a fight a few years ago in a bout where Rodriguez was otherwise cruising to victory. He worked his way back up near the top and fought a title eliminator in South Africa against Isaac Hlatshwayo. Every contemporary report I saw said that Rodriguez should have been the wide winner of that fight (including a South African newspaper that wrote a scathing indictment about how corrupt the judging was), but the judges first scored it a win for Hlatshwayo, which was later changed to a draw for Rodriguez because someone added up the scores wrong. After beating fellow contender Shamone Alvarez, he rematched Hlatshwayo, this time losing a split decision in his own backyard. Then he went to Poland for another title eliminator against Rafal Jackiewicz, losing a unanimous decision where Rodriguez threw twice as many punches and scored a clean knockdown. Now, he was finally getting some consideration for a big fight with Saul Alvarez, and he gets robbed in an upset, which is about as bad of luck as it gets in boxing. Instead of being 29-2-1 and ranked in the top 10 at welterweight, he's now lost three of his last four, is 25-5-2 and may need to regroup.
Francisco Sierra TD7 Don George - Well, this ended Da Bomb's hype train pretty quickly. George is a fun fighter, and he could be an all-action guy who gets TV slots that way, but he's just not very good. Sierra was sparked by Edison Miranda in less than a round, but managed to beat George like a red headed stepchild. It seemed like Sierra finally put George out of his misery in the 7th with a knockout, but the referee called it a late shot that caused the knockdown, deducted a couple of points from Sierra, and then stopped the fight to go to the cards, on which Sierra had the shutout. Technically, it should have been a TKO or a DQ, but the right guy won. Sierra's only 22 years old and had a few good wins under his belt before the Miranda blowout, so maybe we'll get to see more of him around in the future.
Andy Lee KO5 James Cook - ESPN only showed a highlight of this fight, where Emmanuel Steward's fighter scored a mid-rounds knockout on a good left hook. Since losing to Brian Vera a couple years back, Lee hasn't really taken any step forward in opposition, and has been facing this high journeyman level type for a while. Maybe it's time for him to step up the competition. He's still Irish and he's still a big puncher, so he can probably still draw crowds, but we'll never know if he's actually any good until he faces someone better than Affif Belghecham.
Derek Ennis MD12 Gabriel Rosado - In a very closely contested bout, the more deliberate Ennis was able to land the harder shots and counterpunch his way to a narrow victory. A good full description of the bout is at the Philadelphia Daily News.
Danny Garcia TKO9 Jorge Romero - "Swift" Danny remained undefeated, travelling to Mexico to take the win. While the early rounds appeared to be close, the WBC's horrible open scoring policy revealed after four rounds that Garcia had swept two of the cards, and from that point on, the wind really seemed to get knocked out of Romero's sails. Garcia dominated from the fifth on, eventually knocking out Romero with a left hook in the 9th.