McWilliams Arroyo didn’t get the shot at the WBC flyweight title he’d signed up for tonight, but did take the interim version of the belt, dominating very late replacement opponent Abraham Rodriguez for a fifth round stoppage win.
Click here for Canelo vs Yildirim round-by-round coverage for the main event!
Arroyo (21-4, 16 KO) was supposed to fight Julio Cesar Martinez, the WBC flyweight titleholder, but Martinez pulled out on Thursday with hand injuries, even after he’d already been at the final press conference that same day. That fight was also supposed to happen last August, but didn’t then, either, Martinez also withdrawing from that one.
Arroyo, 35, is looking to force the fight with the Mexican titleholder, though, and Rodriguez (27-3, 13 KO) deserves some credit just for taking this fight on about 12 hours’ notice, flying into Miami late — he couldn’t even make it in time for the weigh-in event — and giving it his best shot.
But he had nothing for Arroyo, either. The 26-year-old “Choko” Rodriguez challenged for a 108-pound title back in 2018 and was stopped in two by Angel Acosta, and this was another night where he was just over-matched against a better opponent. Rodriguez was dropped in the fourth, and came out for the fifth, but as he took more punishment, his corner waved the towel.
As for Arroyo, the Puerto Rican veteran will keep his sights set on Martinez (17-1, 13 KO) and a chance to win the full title.