Delvin Rodriguez knew his best chance at dethroning savvy southpaw Erislandy Lara was to dispense with caution in favor of engaging in an all-out brawl.
“Rodriguez told us in the fighter meeting that he wants to come out and be the aggressor early,” Spike TV blow-by-blow announcer Scott Hanson said before Friday night’s fight at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago. “He cannot let Lara get into the comfort zone as we’ve seen in fights past.”
Delvin Rodriguez intermittently stood his ground until there were 15 seconds left in the sixth round. That was The Moment when Erislandy Lara split Rodriguez’s guard and dropped him with a perfectly placed straight left hand to the nose that followed a jab.
Although Rodriguez finished the fight on his feet, his intensity waned significantly from that point on as Lara successfully defended his 154-pound title by pitching a shutout on all three judges’ scorecards to win a unanimous decision.
Even before the knockdown, Lara had dominated the entire fight by the time his highlight blow found its mark.
The results were evident on the puffy face of Rodriguez, with most of that damage—including a bloody nose—coming from straight lefts preceded by Lara’s piston-like jab. Lara’s trainer, Ronnie Shields, stated as much during the Spike broadcast midway through the sixth round.
“Watch the straight left hand. All day, he’s going to hit him with the left hand,” Shields said to ringside analyst Antonio Tarver. “This guy is so accurate with the left hand. Sooner or later, he’s going to catch Delvin and he’s going to knock him out.”
The KO never materialized, but Lara’s left hand helped ensure that the outcome of the fight was never in doubt.
For complete coverage of Lara vs Rodriguez, visit our fight page.