Saul Rodriguez Delivers Message Via KO – In search of a marquee fight on the big stage Saul “Neno” Rodriguez sought a big knockout and got it against Colombia’s dangerous Daulis Prescott on Saturday.
A full house including hundreds of fans from Riverside saw Rodriguez (now 20-0-1, 15 KOs) add Prescott (31-4) to his growing resume at Sportsman’s Lodge. The super featherweight never took a backward step in adding the Colombian fighter on his list of victims.
Rodriguez entered the fight with a desire to fight on bigger fight cards like his Puerto Rican contemporary Felix Verdejo. Both fought the same similar foe but Rodriguez defeated that same fighter by knockout. Yet, Verdejo is fighting at Madison Square Garden. It gnaws on Rodriguez.
With a growing and cantankerous fan base following him across county lines, Rodriguez zoomed out of his corner in the first round and it was clear and apparent he had knockout on his mind. But would Prescott cooperate?
“I knew in the beginning I would knock him out,” said Rodriguez. “But I could see he was pretty strong and it would take a while.”
From the first round until the end Rodriguez blasted away with quick combinations. Prescott tried to counter but was unable to land any flush punches. Left hooks found the mark in every round that the fight lasted. The Colombian never stopped trying to set traps but they always fell short of the target.
Rodriguez used feints to avoid the traps and also began firing triple left hooks. They connected and suddenly Prescott was on pure defensive mode.
In the seventh round a left hook followed by a right cross hurt Prescott. Rodriguez chased him and delivered a left hook that dropped the Colombian. He waited until the count of eight and got up to continue. Rodriguez did not allow him to breathe and connected with a blazing right uppercut that sent Prescott down in a heap. He got up but shook his head at referee Raul Caiz. The fight was stopped at 2:37 of the round for a knockout win for Rodriguez.
“I knew I could knock him out, but he was tough and experienced so he lasted,” said Rodriguez. “He could take a lot.”
In a junior flyweight clash Carlos Lincona (9-0) defeated Cesar Sustaita (3-3) by unanimous decision after six rounds. All three judges had it 60-54. Lincona was able to out box the wild swinging but always dangerous Sustaita. There were no knockdowns.
Brazil’s Esquiva Falcao (14-0, 11 KOs) remained undefeated with a fourth round knockout at 1:31 of the round over Mexico’s Paul Valenzuela (8-3-1) in their middleweight clash. A left cross from the southpaw Falcao opened up a cut over Valenzuela’s eye in the third round. In the next round, referee Raul Caiz stopped the fight on advice from the ringside physician.
Bryan Flores (4-0) remained undefeated with a clear unanimous decision over Palmdale, California’s Jose Medina. All three judges scored it 40-36 for Flores in the welterweight match.
NABF heavyweight titlist Andy Ruiz (29-0, 18 KOs) of Mexicali, Mexico won by knockout over Cleveland’s Ray Austin (29-9-4) who retired at the end of the fourth round due to an injury. Ruiz knocked down Austin in the first round with a perfect right hand counter after being tagged with a left uppercut. Ruiz proved too fast for Austin who hurt his hand in the fourth round and could not continue.
Max Dadashev (2-0, 2 KOs) scored a TKO 4 over Rashad Bogar (4-9-1) who had trouble staying inside the ropes throughout the fight. In the fourth round of their super lightweight fight, Dadashev overwhelmed Bogar and forced the referee to stop the fight at 34 seconds into the round. Bogar fell through the ropes four times trying to avoid punches.
Arnold Barboza (12-0, 5 KOs) knocked out John Nater (14-8) at 49 seconds of the second round in their welterweight fight.