Delvin Rodriguez and Ali Oubaali notch decisive victories

16.02.08 - By Phil Santos From Ringside – - Main Event: Delvin Rodriguez vs. Troy Browning: Live from the Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino a great night of exhilarating boxing took place. Broadcast live on ESPN2 and promoted by Star Boxing the show featured an intriguing Welterweight match-up between a fairly well established young fighter, Delvin Rodriguez, versus an aging but undefeated veteran in Troy Browning. A bit of a crossroads fight for both men with Rodriguez looking to reaffirm himself as a viable prospect/contender in the games hottest division and Browning seeking a signature win to legitimize his unbeaten record and further his career which at 40 years old has presumably passed him by..

Both fighters were coming off solid wins, for Rodriguez a TKO over Keenan Collins and for Browning a Majority Decision over Julio Cesar Garcia, but it was a recent loss for Rodriguez that he needed to erase from fans memories. The fight in question came against Jesse Feliciano in March of 2007. Rodriguez had dominated much of the action leading into the eighth frame when Feliciano caught him with a series of right hands. Rodriguez showed heart in attempting to weather the storm but Feliciano dropped him a total of three times before the fight was stopped. To Rodriguez credit he has never faced a long line of soft opposition and he has fared very well considering, his only two losses to date had come against Feliciano and back in 2002 versus Andre Eason. Browning while the beneficiary of a flawless record cannot say the same as the only credible name on his résumé is that of Julio Cesar Garcia.

Right from the jump Rodriguez asserted himself as the aggressor jumping all over the slower more plodding Browning. This would be a common theme throughout the fight as it became clear, even early on, that Rodriguez’s youth and stamina would play a major role in the outcome. Browning looked in excellent condition but as Rodriguez continuously dug shots to his midsection the gasps for breath were coming more frequently and becoming more pronounced.

By the middle rounds Browning had resorted to picking and choosing moments to find success. His attack slowed to the point where it now consisted of a potshot here and there with hopes of catching the younger, fresher and frankly more skilled Rodriguez with something substantial. With the Feliciano lesson learned Rodriguez would have none of it. He wisely out hustled and out boxed his opponent while landing power shots whenever Browning gave him an opening. It was a graduation of sorts for Rodriguez who seemed to realize that forcing the action, even against a lesser skilled opponent, can have dire consequences.

As the fight wore on nearing its conclusion Rodriguez was having his way with Browning. The only optimistic comment I can muster on Browning’s behalf was that he deserves credit for still being there after having endured a vicious body beating and being outclassed for 10 one-sided rounds. For Rodriguez this was a solid victory against a game opponent with a suspect record. The manner in which he scored this victory is a credit to Delvin Rodriguez who never so much as struggled for a moment or took a round off. The kid fought hard and remained focused throughout. My scorecard had it a sweep for Delvin Rodriguez at 100-90 while the judges saw it 99-91 and 100-90(2). This was a nice step forward for Rodriguez who with continued success could land a noteworthy bout or two in a talent laden division.

Co-Feature: Ali Oubaali vs. Ashley Theophane

In the evenings Co-Feature the highly touted Ali Oubaali squared off against Ashley Theophane. The fight began slowly with Theophane circling the ring in an apparent showing of respect for Oubaali’s power. Both the 1st and 2nd rounds unfolded in very similar fashion with Theophane circling and Oubaali stalking and winning on aggression and work rate alone. It wasn’t until the 6th round that a decisive blow was landed with Theophane scoring a knockdown. It was questionable and could have been ruled a slip however punches were thrown and the right call appeared to have been made.

Interestingly that was the only knockdown of the evening despite the heaviest punches coming from Oubaali. At a few separate points throughout the bout Oubaali had Theophane hurt but failed to close the show. During one heated exchange Oubaali catapulted Theophane’s mouthpiece twenty feet from the ring with a stinging right hand.

Theophane had some success when he let his hands go but too often in crucial spots he failed to fire off punches. In reality neither fighter really established themselves as the dominant force which left many rounds very difficult to score.

In a tough fight to call I scored it 95-94 for Ashley Theophane while the judges saw it 97-92 and 96-93(2). The wide margin decisions seem a bit much however I could have made an argument for either fighter in a number of different rounds.

Non Televised Portion: Yathomas Riley & Ray Robinson

Yathomas Riley: On the non-televised portion of the Delvin Rodriquez vs. Troy Browning under card Yathomas Riley made an impressive professional debut. At 173.5 pounds and ripped up Riley looked the part but as I’ve seen before looks don’t tell even half the story.

In a scheduled 4 round fight Riley came out technically sound and intent on punishing his over matched opponent. Surprisingly for a pro debut Yathomas Riley appeared neither nervous nor unpolished; in fact just the opposite was the case. He assertively attacked until finally wearing down the outgunned Washington.

Riley planted a stiff right hand in the 3rd sending Washington to the canvas. Washington bravely made it to his feet and lasted the round. In round 4 Riley continued his assault, bloodying Washington’s face, before Washington’s corner finally called it quits.

Although it is extremely early at 1-0 (1) to label anyone a prospect to watch I will say this Yathomas Riley showed more ring savvy and technical skill than fighters with much more experience. He effectively executed a game plan, never wavered, and could easily have boxed his way to a win had he not been able to pound his way to one.

Riley appears to have a good mix of speed, power and technique and it should be fun to watch him progress.

Ray Robinson: Following the televised portion of ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights I stuck around to watch an undefeated Welterweight by the name of Ray Robinson. The 22 year old had amassed a record of 6-0 (2) in his young career and was looking to keep the ball rolling in the right direction. While having a great boxing name like Ray Robinson is sure to earn you some attention initially it can also produce some unfair expectations. The one remedy – Win and do it impressively.

The New Ray Robinson took on the 10-11-3 (2) Shakha Moore in his 7th professional fight. He did exactly what a young undefeated fighter is supposed to do to a journeyman like Moore and laid him out inside of round one. The time of the stoppage came at 0:30 seconds of the first round, all you had to do was blink and it was over. The well put together Ray Robinson seemed to have decent skills and adequate power although a 30 second sampling against a limited opponent is hardly enough to go on.

One thing is for sure less than great fighters have gotten by for a time on little more than their namesake alone. Even now we have a Camacho, Hearns and Chavez all currently fighting and while it may be unfair to label these fighters nothing more than names I feel safe in saying if not for their names we may not know who any of them were. So for all of you young fight fans out there who never had the opportunity to witness a Ray Robinson fight now is your chance. The New Ray Robinson improves to 7-0 (3) with the stoppage while Shakha Moore falls to 10-12-3 (2).

Article posted on 16.02.2008

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