MGM Grand at Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut– In the main event of an HBO Boxing After Dark triple-header, Edwin Rodriguez (22-0, 15 KOs) battered Jason Escalera (13-1-1, 12 KOs) around the ring for eight rounds of heavy bag practice before referee Steve Smoger saw fit to mercifully call an end to the bout.
Rodriguez landed hard and heavy in the first round, nearly taking Escalera out and immediately pointing out the difference between a legitimate, world ranked super middleweight and an undefeated, but woefully green novice.
The eight one-sided rounds proved what many were saying prior to the bout– that this was not an HBO-worthy contest. Coming into this challenge for Rodriguez’s USBA super middleweight title, Escalera’s opponents, combined, only registered a feeble 52-43-4 record.
Despite this sham matchmaking, Rodriguez did what he was supposed to do and won every round en route to the TKO. Still crude, Rodriguez is learning and will make for an entertaining scrap against any of the top ten super middleweights in the world.
In the co-feature, Vic Darchinyan (38-5-1, 27 KOs) stopped a two-fight losing streak with a decisive ten round unanimous decision over prospect Luis Orlando Del Valle (16-1, 11 KOs) at the junior featherweight limit by scores of 99-91, 99-91, and 96-94.
The 36-year-old Darchinyan dictated the distance and pace of the bout, dragging the contest down into an awkward in and out pattern that the better-schooled, more orthodox 25-year-old Del Valle could never really handle.
Del Valle had his moments here and there, but could never muster any sort of sustained offense and was never really in command for any significant amount of time. The Boxing Tribune scored the bout 98-92 for the “Raging Bull,” Darchinyan
In the televised opener, Antonin Decarie (27-1, 8 KOs), from Quebec, made easy work of Newark, New Jersey’s Alex Perez (16-1, 9 KOs), notching the first defense of his WBC international welterweight title via sixth round TKO.
Although undefeated coming into this bout, the 30-year-old Perez was clearly the inferior of the two with a resume that screamed “club fighter.” Still, an upset decision win over “Gato” Figueroa in his last bout got him the nod, bringing him to the show only to be dismantled.
To officially seal the deal, a left hook wobbled Perez in the sixth round with a follow up right hand sending him to the canvas. Perez would beat the count, but would soon find himself in bad shape again, battered against the ropes until the bout was waved off.
Decarie, 29, is good enough to have earned a spot on the fringes of title contention, but has yet to truly test the waters against a live body.