Los Angeles – Oxnard’s prospect Dangerous David Rodela could not compete with the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night but he had no trouble contending with his opponent Eric Cruz from Puerto Rico headlining Fight Night Club card at Club Nokia in an eight round lightweight contest. Judges saw the fight differently as one had it for Cruz 78-74 and two had it for Rodela77-75 awarding the local fighter a split decision victory.
After loosing his last fight to Eloy Perez, Rodela asked a hall of fame trainer Freddie Roach to help him and it showed as he controlled early action against a heavy handed Puerto Rican with a stiff jab. The jab opened up opportunities for the right hand in the second as more relaxed Rodela was able to throw combinations. Both guys opened up a bit in a third stanza getting the crowd excited. Rodela landed a hard right in the fourth that seemed to stun his opponent momentarily, but he was not able to close the show as Puerto Rican banger fired back and made it a competitive round. In the fifth Cruz landed a crushing left hook that snapped Rodela’s head back. Fighter by nature Rodela fought back bravely, but was urged by his corner to box more and get inside less. Last three rounds were close Cruz pressing the action and Rodela boxing and moving.
Local lightweight Jesus Rodriguez got more than he bargained for in his professional debut going to war for four hard rounds with Pomona’s Jesus Juarez. Right hook in the middle of the fourth hurt Juarez (1-1) in the worst way, but his grit and determination allowed him to hear the final bell. All three judges scored the fight for Jesus Rodriguez: 40-36 twice and 39-36.
Amateur standout Frankie Gomez from East Los Angeles brought his own cheering section as he took on a junior welterweight Akeem Akinbode in a four round bout that only lasted 46 seconds. Gomez (3-03KO’S) did not waste any time unleashing a barrage of punches and overwhelming outgunned Akinbode (1-3-1,1KO) and forcing referee Jerry Cantou to end the night.
Five time world title challenger, veteran Jose Navarro was back in the squared circle after suffering three consecutive defeats. Debuting as a bantamweight Navarro (27-5,12KO) had to work hard over six rounds to earn unanimous decision over Benji Garcia (14-15-3,1KO) from San Diego, California. Judges scorecards were unanimous for Navarro 60-54. Navarro was definitely a higher class fighter than his opponent, but he could not hurt his adversary despite landing countless clean punches. To his credit Garcia was firing back always, making it an exciting bout.
Hard punching welterweight from Los Angeles, California, Ramon Valadez made his professional debut a success, dominating Javier Romero (0-4-1) over four one sided rounds. All three judges scored this bout the same 40-36 for Valadez. Romero was bleeding from the mouth from the first round on and looked like he did not want to be in the ring, but he did survive to hear a final bell.