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Photos copyright by Chris CozzoneRodriguez outpoints Pazos to retain NABO title

Ringside by Kurt Wolfheimer
Photos by Gary Purfield

Peltz Boxing, Top Rank and Bam Boxing put on a competitive eight-bout card Saturday in front of over 1,100 fans at the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, PA, featuring the NABO featherweight title defense of Gamalier Rodriguez (22-2-3, 15 KOs), who outboxed rugged Mexican Jorge Pazos (14-6-1, 8 KOs) over ten rounds.

The heavy Latin-based crowd erupted as Puerto Rico's Gamalier Rodriguez made his way to the ring to make the first title defense of his NABO title which he captured by scoring a third round technical knockout of once-beaten Alicio Castaneda on May 18th. His opponent, Pazos, was no stranger to title shots, having battled it out unsuccessfully for the WBO Latino featherweight title against Orlando Cruz (18-2-1, 9 KOs) and the Asian-Pacific super bantamweight belt with undefeated Genesis Servania (18-0, 6 KOs) in his last two bouts.

Rodriquez seemed to be the quicker of the two combatants right from the opening bell as he peppered the pressing Pazos with tight combinations while on the move. In rounds two and three, Rodriguez began to target the body of Pazos. Many of the shots hit right on the beltline, with a few straying a little south of the border. Rodriquez seemed to gain confidence and his hands began to unleash heavy combinations, but Pazos landed a heavy hook up top that kept him from really opening up.

The tight defense and good movement allowed Rodriguez to shoot in and out of the pocket while targeting the body. Late in the fourth round, as Rodriquez began to take control, he accidentally went south of the border and Pazos was given time to time to recover by referee Shawn Clark.

Rodriguez was confident in his accuracy, continuing to target the body. Pazos tried to counter, but just couldn't match his speed in rounds five and six.

Photos copyright by Chris CozzoneThe worked done by Rodriguez in the earlier rounds appeared to tire him a bit and he went on the bicycle and jabbed his way around the ring in seven. Late in the round he stepped on the gas and went after Pazos with solid combinations that ended with a big shot up top. Pazos took it and didn't flinch, forcing Rodriguez to rethink his strategy.

Rodriguez continued to safely mix up his shots in the eighth round as he added looping hooks up top, clinching whenever it became dangerous. Pazos finally went on the offensive in the closing minute and a half, banging away as Rodriguez backed up.

Rodriquez again looked to retreat and clinch in the ninth as Pazos desperately looked for the knockout. The clinches forced Pazos to try and push him off, which led to a warning for using his forearm in the neck while trying to get his arms free.

Pazos tried to close the gap in the tenth, but Rodriguez played it safe and boxed his way to the final bell, sending the bout to the scorecards. All three judges saw the bout easily in favor of Gamalier Rodriguez by scores of 99-91 x 2 and 98-92 respectively.

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Verdejo decisions DelgaDillo

In the co-feature, Puerto Rico's "Next Big Thing" Felix Verdejo (7-0, 5 KOs) dropped Guillermo Delgadillo (4-5-1) of Walla Walla, Washington, twice on his way to a one-sided six-round unanimous decision victory.

Delgadillo tried to bend the confidence of the Verdejo in the opening moments of the fight, rushing him to fight inside. The Puerto Rican Olympian did not waver, sending Delgadillo to the canvas with a big shot on the button. Moments later, both fighters bombed away with heavy hooks, but neither could land a telling shot.

From that point on, Verdejo seemed content to sit and catch the diving Delgadillo with straight shots, dominating rounds two through five. Delgadillo's right eye was puffed up by the fourth round and Verdejo continued to target it.

Verdejo stepped up the pace in the sixth and final round, going for the knockout with vicious intent. A big right sent Delgadillo to the canvas. Verdejo was too cautious afterward, which allowed Delgadillo to recover and survive until the final bell sounded, sending it to the scorecards.

All three judges saw every round in favor of Verdejo by scores of 60-52 x 3.

Cruz crushes Armenta

Local welterweight star Ronald Cruz (18-2,13 KOs) of Bethlehem, PA rebounded from two consecutive losses with a devastating second round knockout of Rudolfo Armenta (12-11-1, 9 KOs). Cruz targeted the body early and then crumpled the visitor from Rio Rico, Arizona, in the corner during round two with a four-punch combination, ending with a right hand up top. Referee Gary Rosato reached the count of ten at 2:40 of the second round.

It was a big night for Cruz and he spoke of it afterward. "I haven't gotten my hand raised in almost a year so it feels great," said Cruz. "I definitely don't want to lose again in my career. "I wanted to go back to the old Ronald Cruz and work the body and come back up top. I felt his air go out with the body shots and it opened up his chin for the knockout."

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Trujillo wins battle of unbeaten

Easton, PA, welterweight Arturo "Tuly" Trujillo (2-0, 1 KO) dropped Alexandria, Virginia's Yori Polischuk (1-1, 1 KO) once in the second round and then boxed his way to a solid four-round unanimous decision victory by scores 40-35 across the board.

Rodriguez dominates Duran

Undefeated Allentown, PA, junior welterweight Jerome "The Messenger" Rodriquez upped his record to 5-0-1, 2 KOs, with a one sided six round unanimous decision breakdown of cagey Queens, New York veteran Ariel Duran (7-6-1, 4 KOs) by scores of 60-54 and 59-55 x 2.

Williams overwhelms Miranda

Philly heavyweight David Williams (7-7-2, 2 KOs) pounded out a solid four-round unanimous decision over Allentown, PA's William "Big Stuff" Miranda (6-7-2). The bout was a rematch of a draw fought last December.

Both fighters knew each other well and for the most part, the fight was fought in the center of the ring with both fighters exchanging heavy shots. Williams was the sharper puncher and his punches were doing the most damage. By round three, Miranda looked tired and his face was reddened and puffed up, showing the damage caused by William's heavy hands

Miranda just couldn't match the speed of Williams and though game, his punches had lost their steam in the fourth. Williams took advantage and rocked Miranda in the closing moments with a big right hand. He pressed the attack, but could not land the telling shot as the final bell sounded.

All three judges saw the bout in favor of David Williams by scores of 40-36, 39-37 and 38-37 respectively.

Khan Clary victorious

In the first of the two walkout bouts of evening, lightweight prospect Toka "T-nice" Khan Clary (7-0-1, 5 KOs) remained undefeated with a solid four-round unanimous decision victory over Jose Valderrama (3-5, 3 KOs) by scores of 40-36 across the board.

Hart overwhelms Tyner

Undefeated Philly Light heavyweight Jesse "Hard Work" Hart (9-0, 8K0's) closed the show with a one-round demolition of Akron, Ohio's Steve Tyner.

It was a big step for the former National Golden Gloves champions as Tyner was the only fighter able to go the distance with him in his previous eight fights as a professional. This time, Tyner wouldn't get a chance to warm up as Hart quickly went to work with good body work in the early seconds of the opening stanza. He, then, began the onslaught with heavy hooks.

Tyner tried to retreat and cover, but Hart was on his "A" game and felled the Ohio native with a four-punch combination. Tyner beat the ten count and retreated along the ropes, but a big right uppercut returned him to the canvas. There was blood in the water and Hart went after his hurt prey with vicious intent, throwing a violent flurry. Though some of the shots missed, Tyner had taken enough damage and dropped to a knee to end the onslaught. The bout was waved off at 1:22 of the opening round giving Hart the TKO victory.

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