Lightweight prospect Saul Rodriguez (17-0-1, 13KOs) took on Antonio Capulin in an 8 round bout at the Florentine Gardens in Hollywood, California on a Top Rank card in the main event of a UniMas telecast.
Rodriguez took complete control of the fight and was on his toes while delivering big, carefully selected shots in the first round. He was stalking his opponent with meticulous precision, and he was still aggressive when he needed to be. Rodriguez landed a big right hand that shook Capulin and sparked an aggressive response. Rodriguez gave his opponent enough room as allowed him to come forward only to stun him with a solid counter left that brought Capulin down with his glove on the mat.
Capulin never physically went down, but the knockdown was scored and he continued after the count was given.
Rodriguez went right back to work in the 2nd and carefully picked his aggressive moments. Rodriguez backed his opponent into the corner and absolutely unleashed on him, first with a left and then some devastating straight rights. To Capulin’s credit he stayed on his feet, even after weathering a vicious attack that resulted in a cut over his left eye.
Capulin was being a punching bag for the most part, but he did manage to score a couple shots of his own. In fact, he closed the round out with a nice combination to the body, but it was still a dominating round for Rodriguez and it appeared as though the end was near.
Capulin was essentially fighting a one-handed fight for a brief time because he was vigilant with his left hand guarding his chin, just trying to keep a few of those big Rodriguez left hooks from landing—the punch that was initiating most of the damage and was mostly followed by the hard right.
Rodriguez, who is trained by Eduardo Garcia and comes out of the Robert Garcia gym in Oxnard, showed a real maturity about him by not letting his desire to finish the fight overwhelm his game plan. He stayed true to form and didn’t allow himself to get burned out by overreaching for the stoppage. It might’ve worked against him just a bit as Capulin was able to rattle off some body work of his own, not to mention a few shots to the chin, but Rodriguez kept his composure.
Capulin did all he could to earn Rodriguez’s respect, and he was successful to a degree, but Rodriguez knew he was the better talent and began to unleash big shots while maintaining his stamina in the process. Rodriguez was snapping back the head of Capulin and rarely allowed for a moment of ease, although Capulin never gave up.
It was a testament to Rodriguez for being in a tough bout and being able to learn from such an outing against a guy in Capulin that refused to go away and never went into auto drive.
The bout ended up going the distance and the judges turned in the scores of 80-71 twice and 79-72 all for Rodriguez who earned the hard-fought unanimous decision victory.