Junior welterweight Mohamed Rodriguez used a series of upper cuts to stun, and later knock out Manuel Mendez on Friday night’s “Path to Glory”main event from the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, Calif.
Rodriguez (10-4, 4 KOs) pulled off the upset win by rocking Mendez (15-2-2, 11 KOs) in the third round with a series of heavy punches that put the Joel Diaz-trained Mendez on his back.
Rodriguez followed up in the fourth round with sharp upper cuts that proved too much for the back pedaling Mendez. The end came at the :54 mark of the fourth round.
“I said it during my prefight interview that I was going to leave here with my hand held high,” Rodriguez said after the fight. “I knew I could beat him.”
In the co-feature, welterweight Jessie Roman (22-3, 11 KOs) used a steady attack to stymie the over matched Erick Martinez (13-8-1, 7 KOs). Roman looked comfortable from the outset, as he was able to land jabs and power punches seemingly at will.
The constant flow of punches eventually caught up with Martinez. After a bruising fourth round that saw Roman land numerous power punches, Martinez failed to come out of his corner for the fifth round.
In another knockout win at “Path to Glory,” featherweight Rafael Rivera (25-0-2, 16 KOs)stopped Ruben Tamayo (24-10-4, 16 KOs) in the waning seconds of the third round. Rivera, who is considerably shorter than Tamayo, got inside and inflicted damage by connecting with strong body shots.
Near the end of the third round, Rivera landed upstairs and followed up with a left hook to the body that ended Tamayo’s night.
In the night’s only fight that went the distance, junior lightweight Michael Dutchover (5-0, 4 KOs) used an array of skills to defeat Miguel Carrizoza (10-2, 2 KOs) by unanimous decision.
Dutchover controlled the fight by mixing a powerful left jab, with strong right hands to the head and body (60-54, 59-55, 58-56).
“Carrizoza is a tough boxer,” said Dutchover, who is promoted by Thompson Boxing and Banner Promotions. “I knew he came in here with the expectation of giving me trouble, but I didn’t let him develop any kind of rhythm. I was in command for the entire fight.”
Also on “Path to Glory,” bantamweight Saul Sanchez (3-0, 2 KOs) delivered a first round stoppage over the out gunned Cristian Bartolini (2-4, 2 KOs). Sanchez got off to a fast start by landing a heavy combination early in the first round. The punches were more than enough to secure his second professional knockout win.
Heavyweight Sergey Kuzmin (12-1, 8 KOs) dropped Malcolm Tann (24-5, 13 KOs) twice in the first round and once in the second on his way to a fourth round knockout victory on the “Path to Glory” show opener.