Rod Salka outboxed a favored fighter once again, but this time, he got the decision on Showtime, beating Alexei Collado by unanimous decision scores of 96-93, 96-93, and 96-94, which were closer than most viewers had the fight.
Bad Left Hook had it 98-91 for Salka, with the Showtime commentary team scoring it 99-90 (Barry Tompkins), 97-92 (Steve Farhood), and 97-93 (Raul Marquez, who may have forgotten to score a 10-8, or had a 10-10 somewhere).
Salka (19-3, 3 KO) looked better than he did in December, when he should have gotten the scores over Ricardo Alvarez in Texas in another Showtime-televised bout, only to be robbed by the judges. The 31-year-old fighter had home field advantage in Monroeville tonight, and he came out fast, outboxing Collado (18-1, 16 KO) pretty nicely in the first two rounds, then hurting and dropping him after body shots wore Collado out in round three.
For much of the fight, it was just Salka taking Collado to school. The 26-year-old Cuban Collado threw constant wide, looping, slow shots that Salka largely was able to move away from or block with the gloves. Salka's jab wasn't even his main weapon, which it was against Alvarez. Tonight, he was able to dominate Collado mostly with power shots, and while he's not a big puncher, he obviously was more than strong enough for the prospect, whose bubble was burst in a big way tonight.
Another Iron Mike prospect, welterweight Felix Diaz, struggled but stayed undefeated in an unimpressive split decision win over Emmanuel Lartey of Ghana. Diaz (15-0, 8 KO) won on split decision scores of 77-75, 77-75, and 75-77. The right guy did win the fight, as a 5-3 score for Lartey (15-2-1, 7 KO) seemed a tad generous, but it's hard to find much else to say about Diaz's performance other than it once again showcased his limitations, which has been a recurring theme for his pro career after winning gold in Beijing.
In the opener, Sammy Vasquez Jr improved to 14-0 (10 KO) with a TKO over Juan Rodriguez Jr (11-1, 5 KO) at 2:49 of the first round in a welterweight fight that was set for eight rounds. Rodriguez was blitzed and hit the canvas three times before the fight was halted.