Rodriguez lands a hook on Manzo. All photographs by David Algranati/The Struggle Images
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Manuel Manzo didn’t have the velocity or talent that his opponent, Emmanuel Rodriguez, dropped at the ring on Saturday night time on the Showboat Lodge.
What the 33-year-old from Michoacan, Mexico had was an iron chin and a limitless fuel tank. It additionally didn’t damage that they had been preventing a number of divisions above Rodriguez’s ordinary weight. These components had been sufficient to energy the underdog to an upset cut up choice win over the extra celebrated “Salserito,” with two judges scoring the struggle 76-75 in his favor, whereas the third had it scored the identical means for Rodriguez.
The story of the bout occurred about 30 hours previous to struggle time, when Manzo arrived on the weigh-in nicely over the contract weight of 120 kilos. Rodriguez tells The Ring that he was knowledgeable concerning the discrepancy previous to arriving, and a brand new weight restrict of 124 kilos was agreed upon. Manzo weighed in nicely above that weight too, stepping on the scales at 127.5 kilos, whereas Rodriguez, already rehydrated and carrying gold chains round his neck, weighed in at 124 kilos.
“Because the first spherical I simply felt his physique,” stated Rodriguez (12-1, 7 knockouts), who estimated that Manzo (9-7-3, 4 KOs) weighed about 140 on the time of the struggle. “I hit this man with an entire bunch of punches that if he was a daily 118-pounder he would have been knocked out however I couldn’t transfer him.”
The distinction between a draw or the choice going the opposite means was a fifth spherical knockdown on a left hook to the physique. Rodriguez tried to field and pot shot his strategy to a call however Manzo was efficient in bulling his means ahead and letting his fingers go.
Promoter Thomas LaManna says there have been points bringing Manzo to the struggle after his flight from California on Thursday was canceled, including that he solely arrived on the town at 8 a.m. Friday, simply hours earlier than the weigh-in. He believes the chaos surrounding the journey scenario contributed to Manzo’s weight issues.
Rodriguez says the lesson discovered is to stroll away from a struggle if the opponent misses weight, even when it means disappointing his followers.
“That received’t occur once more to me in my profession once more. I’m not taking it [if the opponent is more than two pounds overweight]. However he’s an incredible fighter, he did what he needed to do,” stated Rodriguez, who entered the bout rated no. 10 by the WBO and no. 13 by the WBA.
“We spoke within the locker room, I wish to come again February, I’d like to struggle the identical man. I hope he could make 118.”
The loudest crowd response of the night time got here from the followers Kristian Prenga, the 6’5″ heavyweight from Orosh, Albania. Prenga exhibited Deontay Wilder-like energy, scoring 4 knockdowns to complete off the overmatched and undersized Alvin Davie (7-4, 6 KOs) on the 1:32 mark of spherical two within the co-featured bout.
Prenga (12-1, 12 KOs) dropped the Miami resident with a pair of proper fingers within the first spherical. Twice Prenga needed to be pulled down from the ropes after Davie rose up unexpectedly, nevertheless it was at all times only a matter of time.
Prenga is now educated by Muhammad Sallam and has received seven straight since dropping a call in his fifth professional struggle.
Rising junior middleweight prospect Robert Terry (8-0, 2 KOs) continued to flash his re-discovered punching energy, registering his second straight knockout with a sixth spherical stoppage of skilled veteran Jimmy Williams (18-10-2, 6 KOs). Terry, 29, of Jersey Metropolis, N.J. weathered an early assault from the Plainfield, N.J. resident and dropped him with a left hook on the finish of the fourth.
Terry, a 2017 Nationwide Golden Gloves finalist, had a troublesome time sustaining his power ranges via the fights, however discovered sufficient power later within the bout to complete Williams with a flurry of blows which started with a left hook. The time of stoppage was 2:22 of the sixth.
Derek Starling rebounded from shoulder surgical procedure to attain a second spherical stoppage towards late substitute Greg Hackett.
Starling (5-1, 4 KOs), a 5-time N.J. Golden Gloves champion, hadn’t fought in a yr since struggling a torn left labrum in his earlier struggle, a second spherical knockout loss towards Darryl Clark. In that struggle, Starling took a knee after struggling the shoulder damage and was counted out.
The 33-year-old Starling of Neptune, N.J. virtually didn’t make it to the ring after two opponents pulled out within the week main as much as the struggle.
Junior middleweight Robert Terry (8-0, 2 KOs) scored his second straight knockout, stopping the skilled Jimmy Williams (18-10-2, 6 KOs) at 2:22 of spherical 6 on the Showboat Lodge in Atlantic Metropolis, NJ pic.twitter.com/fR4YCcDGA8
— Ryan Songalia (@ryansongalia) November 13, 2022
Hackett (3-22), a 36-year-old former welterweight from Philadelphia, took the struggle on 48 hours’ discover, weighing in at 204 kilos, whereas trying comically undersized towards the 287-pound, 6’5″ southpaw Starling. Hackett surrendered on his stool after the second spherical ended with out being damage within the bout.
Talking of shoulder accidents, crowd favourite Saleh Ali needed to overcome an injured left shoulder within the first spherical, however had sufficient toughness to outfight Jose Luis Fracica to a call win. Ali (1-0-1), generally known as Habibi, used his proper hand to counter the aggressive Fracica (0-3), and win a shutout choice of 40-36 on all three playing cards of their featherweight bout.
Ali, 30, of North Bergen, N.J. by means of Yemen, owns Ape Kingdom Boxing in West New York, N.J.
Junior middleweight prospect Justin Figueroa broke out “The Worm” for the second time in two professional fights, knocking out Jeremiah Kendrick (1-3, 1 KO) at 2:53 of the third spherical.
Figueroa (2-0, 2 KOs), a former soccer and wrestling standout at Holy Spirit Excessive Faculty in close by Absecon, introduced a large crowd to the sector. The athletic Figueroa, 23, acquired the expertise he missed out in his professional debut, when he knocked out Tavares Smith in 90 seconds this previous August and didn’t get to combine it up a lot. Figueroa confirmed his athleticism and motion earlier than dropping Kendrick with a sequence of proper fingers and forcing a referee stoppage.
Justin Pauldo (15-1, 7 KOs) of Houston, Tex. overcame an early reduce to outpoint Yeifer Valencia (6-2, 5 KOs) by the scored of 79-72 on two playing cards and 77-74 on the third of their light-weight bout. Pauldo, who’s educated by Ronnie Shields, was preventing for the primary time since his 2020 win over Josec Ruiz.
Jose Llano completed off issues early in his skilled debut, stopping Gerald Fundenberg (0-1) in 81 seconds of their bantamweight struggle. Llano, 28, is predicated in Hackensack, N.J. and is educated by Mike Rizzo.
Ryan Songalia has written for ESPN, the New York Every day Information, Rappler and The Guardian, and is a part of the Craig Newmark Graduate Faculty of Journalism Class of 2020. He will be reached at [email protected]