With the stands at the Ginasio Escola Superior do Educación Física packed with enthusiastic fans, WBF World Middleweight champion Isaac Rodrigues had to work hard, but in the end retained his title with a unanimous decision over South African Nkululeko Mhlongo.
The bout, which was televised live throughout Brazil, was fought at a high pace, and both boxers had their share of success in the early rounds. In the second half Rodrigues took most of the initiative, and landed well with his combinations, while Mhlongo tried his best to stay in the fight.
After twelve rounds of action, judges Enrique Sotelo, Jorge Falco and Benedito Balieiro all scored it 117-111 for Rodrigues. While some though that was a bit too wide, there was no doubt that Rodrigues was the deserved winner. Refere in charge was Jesus Salcedo.
Having won the title last December, this was the first title-defense for Rodrigues, who improved his record to 22-2 (17). Mhlongo, the WBF Intercontinental Super Welterweight champion, falls to 13-3 (11). Promoter was UP Promocoes Ltds headed by Wallace Pereira.
With the legendary “Hands Of Stone”, Roberto Duran, attending as a special guest, two WBF Caribbean title fights saw underdogs prevail at Skinner Park in San Fernando, Trinidad & Tobago on a show promoted by Golden Eye Productions and Floyd Trumpet Productions.
Fighting in what was clearly his biggest challenge to date, undefeated Nigel Edwards captured the vacant WBF Caribbean Light Heavyweight crown when favourite Kirt Sinette was forced to retire with a dislocated shoulder at 0:11 of round nine.
Winning his first title in the pros, Edwards improved to 9-0-1 (5), while countryman Sinnette lost for only the third time in twenty-five bouts and falls to 22-3 (18).
At Heavyweight, Mitchell Rogers from Guyana got the better of local man Kertson Manswell to win a unanimous twelve round decision in what was their third outing. Manswell had won the first two encounters, but this time Rogers was too sharp for him, and just the better man.
The new WBF Caribbean Heavyweight champion took his pro ledger to 9-4 (5), while Manswell looks to be on the down-slide as he drops to 24-11 (18).