Saul Still Unbeaten

No KO, No Matter for Saul “Neno” Rodriguez

By Luis Rivera

HOLLYWOOD, CA. – The night's event would feature two of Top Rank’s brightest up and coming prospects in Saul Rodriguez from Riverside, CA in the main event against Houston’s tough Antonio Capulin and Oklahoma City’s Alex Saucedo in the co-main event against Jake Giuriceo on Saturday.  
The two headliners would deliver and not disappoint in front of the sold out crowd at 
Florentine Gardens.

It was the ninth installment of the Hollywood Fight Night Boxing Series at the world recognized Florentine Gardens Night Club in Hollywood, CA. 

In the headline event of the evening, Top Rank's Lightweight prospect Saul "Neno" Rodriguez (17-0-1, 13KOs) of Riverside, Ca. would show the world that he is much more than a knock out machine and has the ability to go the distance and out-will his opponent. 

Rodriguez showed an impressive diplay of skills against the tough previously undefeated Antonio Capulin (14-1, 6KOs) of Houston, TX.  

"Neno" knew the fight would not be easy going in but was confident that he would win in impressive fashion.  In the beginning, it looked as if it was going to be another short night for the rising star as he stunned and dropped Capulin with a short right hand but Capulin would get back up and show tremendous heart and make it out of the round.  Capulin would get wobbled once again in the 2nd, this time with a left hook.  Rodriguez would then T-off on Capulin against the ropes but would back off to conserve his energy when he realized that Capulin would not go down. 

Rodriguez began pace himself intelligently throughout the rest of the fight landing the harder blows while Capulin fought valiantly against the pressure landing his fair share of punches throughout each round.  Capulin became a live underdog often engaging in Rodriguez in exciting exchanges with both fighters having their moments.

The 22-year-old Rodriguez used his experience in controlling the action in the 6th but Capulin showed that he was is one tough customer and could handle Neno's power very well. Although it appeared that Capulin was the larger man this time, Neno showed that he was able to handle the larger fighter with relative ease and get the UD victory with the final scores of 80-71 2x and 79-72 for the Rodriguez victory.  Another great win for this up and coming prospect out of Riverside, California and product of the world renowned Garcia Boxing Academy based out of Oxnard, CA. 

The night was filled with exciting fights as the fans may have had the chance to witness one of the most exciting 4 round fights in a very long time when crowd favorite Michael Norato (2-0, 1KO) of LA, CA was found in a toe to toe war with the rugged Alim Jumakhonov (1-1-1, 0KO) of Reseda, CA.  

The fight started in hurry when both fighters came out in blaze of glory not holding anything back.  In a surprising first round, it was Norato who found himself being roughed up and put on the canvas by a sneaky right hand from Jumakhonov. Norato would recover and finish the round 
fighting strong. 

The 2nd round was just as exciting as the two warriors stepped in the phone booth to slug it out from bell to bell.  Jumakhonov would spend most of the 3rd taunting Norato in an attempt to frustrate the young fighter but Norato would stick to the game plan and win the round. In a highly entertaining 4th and final round, the two fighters left their hearts in the ring to the crowds delight and Norato would pull off a hair thin decision over the rough Jumakhonov.  This fight generated a minute long standing ovation once the fight finished.  This could have easily been the fight that stole the show.

In the co-main event, Alex Saucedo (18-0, 13KOs) would shine against the tough Jake Giuriceo (17-4-1, 4KOs). Saucedo would start the first round off strong with clean, hard shots. Giuriceo
would land some good clean punches on Saucedo but Saucedo would show how good his chin is. Good exchanges were had in the 2nd round with both fighters having their moments. Giuriceo would later knocked down with a short left hook in the 3rd but survived the round. Saucedo then turns up the heat and stuns Guiriceo with left hook and followed up with a barrage of punches which causes the ref to stop the fight at 0:49 seconds in the 4th.  Impressive victory for this young prospect out of Oklahoma City, OK.

Other bouts included the undefeated Luis Sedano (5-0-1, 1KO) who would cruise to an easy decision victory over Rafael Vasquez (1-2, 0KO) as well as the undefeated Arnold 
Barboza (7-0, 2KOs) getting a dominating win vs the overmatched Brandon Adams who has fallen to (3-3, 2KOs).  Jessy Martinez of Woodland Hills would also make his pro debut against 
Omar Avelar (3-14, 2KOs) and made quick work of Avelar finishing him in the 3rd round with a vicious body shot that sent Avelar crashing to the canvas.  Rafael Espinoza, who is now 
(7-0, 6KOs) would also get the easy UD win over the smaller Karl Garcia (4-5, 1KO) of Puerto Rico.