Joseph “Blessed Hands” Adorno, a former amateur standout with heavy hands was forced to rely on his guile and discipline to fend off a tenacious effort from Hugo Alberto Roldan in winning a 10-round unanimous decision in the super lightweight main event of SHOBOX: The New Generation on Friday, September 9, live on SHOWTIME.
The telecast was held at Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel & Casino’s Grand Ballroom, site of the first ever SHOBOX® more than 20 years ago on July 21, 2001.
Adorno, who won by scores of 95-94, 95-94, 95-94 and recorded a knockdown in the second round, collapsed to the canvas, overcome with emotion as the judges’ scorecards were read.
After losing a competitive decision to lightweight contender Michel Rivera in March for the first loss of his career, Adorno (17-1-2, 14 KOs) won his third straight fight on Friday, showing poise and composure in staving off the unorthodox advances of Roldan, who sustained his first loss and fell to 21-1-1 with 7 KOs.
“I feel like all the hard work I put in since I was a little kid is finally starting to pay off and coming all together,” said Adorno, who took the fight with Roldan on four weeks notice after Shinard Bunch withdrew from the main event. “I did lose a little love for boxing for a while. But I’m proud.
“He was an awkward fighter. I took the fight on short notice. He’s a higher weight class than me. I’m a 135-pounder. All the hard work pays off. I went through a lot in the ring tonight, as any fighter does. I hurt my hand. I got hit with a headbutt that almost closed my eye. But I overcame it all. I got what it takes.
“I can hang in there with the top guys. Give me a couple more fights and I’ll be ready for anybody.”
Adorno of Allentown, Pennsylvania, appeared on his way to an easy victory when he dropped Roldan of Argentina to end the second round on a counter-left hook at the bell. But Roldan’s aggressive, herkie-jerky style appeared to confound and frustrate Adorno in the second half of the fight.
Roldan’s motor never decelerated. He was like a slingshot hurtling out of the corner to start each round as Adorno, a skilled counterpuncher, did his best to repel Roldan’s bull rushes.
After showboating and doing a little dance in the ring after stunning Roldan with a right hand to end the fourth, Adorno settled down and relied on his slick boxing skills and the occasional power shot to emerge with the narrow win. As the fight ended, both fighters displayed the badges of their efforts: Roldan’s left eye was nearly swollen shut while Adorno had deep swelling under his left eye but a smile in victory.
“You learn a lot from a fight like this,” Adorno said. “In boxing, you’re going to face guys with different styles. Not everybody is going to be the same. Weird guys like Roldan make you look ugly. But you have to get through it, listen to your corner and adjust. That’s what we did tonight. He came out with that aggressive style because he knew he had to throw a lot of punches to win the fight. I understand that. He’s not a power-puncher so he had to throw punches to have a chance. I’m just glad we got the victory.”
In the co-feature, Frency Fortunato showed off his boxing skills, power and grit to hold off a late rally from the well-conditioned and aggressive Bernard Angelo Torres to capture a split decision in a 10-round featherweight bout. Fortunato, who dropped the southpaw Torres in the fourth round, won by scores of 97-92, 95-94 and 94-95 to improve to 14-1 with 10 KOs while Torres suffered his first defeat and fell to 16-1 with 7 KOs.
“I definitely think that I won the fight soundly, but I respect the judges’ decision,” said Fortunato of his second fight in the U.S. “I admit that I lost a few rounds but no more than that. I was in the best shape of my life coming into this fight and I think it showed. I feel very happy about my performance and I think that I clearly won. Torres was a good, quick fighter but he lacked power.”
Torres was surprised by the margin of the 97-92 scorecard that swung the fight in Fortunato’s favor.
“It was a close fight that could have gone either way,” the 26-year-old Torres said. “But I don’t quite agree with the 97-92 scorecard. I started slowly and gave away the first four rounds. That cost me the fight. I did better in the second half of the fight but should have started better.”
Constantly measuring the shorter Torres and boxing comfortably off his back foot, Fortunato of the Dominican Republic raked Torres with uppercuts and overhand rights as Torres rushed in and paid for his aggressiveness in the first half of the fight.
Fortunato dropped Torres with a sharp counter right with 40 seconds left in the fourth, the first time Torres had ever tasted the canvas. It was a short, compact punch that landed on the top of Torres’ head and Torres rose with a sheepish grin over being tagged.
The Filipino Torres, who topped former featherweight titleholder and fellow countryman Mark Magsayo three times in the amateurs, was a different fighter after that fourth-round setback. He stunned Fortunato with a counter right late in the fifth and buzzed Fortunato again with a left and right to end the eighth round. It was an impressive turnaround as Torres surged forward and swarmed Fortunato with punches.
Fortunato tasted the canvas in the final seconds of the ninth, but referee Mary Glover ruled it a slip that seemed more the result of fatigue than a punch.
The tenth round was the fight’s best as Torres landed a left in the first minute of the frame that had Fortunato backing up against the ropes. But Fortunato showed his grit and held his ground as he dug a pair of uppercuts and later landed sweeping rights that bloodied Torres’ nose in the final 20 seconds of the bout to punctuate his close win.
Roiman Villa had a successful U.S. debut on Friday in the SHOBOX opener, dropping Janelson Bocachica and pummeling him over eight rounds to capture a unanimous decision by scores of 78-73, 79-72 and 79-72 in the eight-round welterweight bout. Along with landing the flashier and heavier blows, Villa also pounded the mouthpiece of Bocachica, dislodging it five times, resulting in referee Harvey Dock deducting a point the third time it went flying.
A lanky, explosive fighter from Venezuela, Villa (25-1, 24 KOs) dropped Bocachica 30 seconds into the second round with a chopping right hand as Bocachica was pinned against the ropes for the first knockdown of his career. The Detroit fighter rose quickly but found himself on the defensive again as the heavily tattooed Villa windmilled down punches, causing Bocachica (17-1-1, 11 KOs) to lose his mouthpiece three times in the second, eventually causing Dock to deduct a point in a nightmarish sequence for the 23-year-old.
“Even though I would have liked to get the knockout, I’m very happy with the performance,” Villa said. “We had a short training camp of just five weeks and two of those weeks we had problems where we couldn’t prepare the way we wanted to. I was at just 50 percent tonight. I’m very happy to get the win.
“This was my U.S. debut and I’m happy for the opportunity to show off my skills,” Villa went on. “We will definitely stay in the U.S. and get more fights. Whoever my promoter Sampson wants me to fight, I will follow his plan. We want to get big fights in the welterweight division and start making my case as a true contender in the division.”
Bocachica admitted he may have been a little overconfident entering Friday’s bout against the virtually unknown Villa.
“I got too confident thinking I would knock him out,” Bocachica said. “He hits hard, but I’ve been hit harder. I should have done more. All my mouthpieces are a little too short. We need to go to the drawing board and we’ll be back.”
The event was promoted by Sampson Boxing.
Hall of Famer Barry Tompkins called the action from ringside with veteran combat sports reporter and MORNING KOMBAT host Brian Campbell and former world champion Raul Marquez serving as expert analysts with Hall of Famer Steve Farhood remotely performing unofficial scoring duties. SHOBOX: The New Generation was executive produced by Gordon Hall with Chuck McKean producing and Rick Phillips directing.
The SHOBOX tripleheader will re-air on Monday, September 12 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME®.