Feliciano vs. Rodriguez: Wow!

25.03.07 - By Ted Sares: Sometimes, you get an opportunity to watch what I call a "fun fight." Pure enjoyment. In this one, I was enjoying the way Delvin Rodriguez, 20-2-1, was setting skillfully traps for tough Jesse "El Rayo" Feliciano, 15-5-3. Rodriguez was dictating the action almost until the end, as he was luring Jesse in and then punishing him by putting together punches in bunches, fast combos, a stiff jab, and most of all, sharp right uppercuts propelled by outstanding hand speed for which Jesse had few answers..

Finally Feliciano, who had fought far superior opposition, changed his strategy and began to use a body attack on the slick Dominican which slowed him down ever-so-slightly. But then's his legs began to show wear and tear and as he tired, almost imperceptibly, Jesse closed the distance. He started to handle Delvins punishing jabs and in fact began walking through them and backed up Rodriquez at the end of the 7th. The tide had turned going into the 8th round .

As the bell ran for the 8th, "El Rayo" began throwing punches more like like a street fighter than a boxer but he caught Delvin with a mean right hook that sent him down. Rodriquez, who was now badly hurt, made a fatal strategic decision as he elected to engage the tough and game Feliciano. Bad choice. That's the Las Vegas resident's kind of fight. Another volley of brutal bows put Delvin down for the second time. Clearly, the fight could have been stopped right there and then and many ringsiders were yelling for referee Charles Dwyer to do just that, but he let it continue. Shades of Quiles-Campbell. Shades of Victor Burgos. Four crushing blows later, Rodriquez was almost knocked out of the ring as Feliciano claimed the USBA Welterweight title with a stunning and savage come-from-behind victory that elicited oohs and aahs from the Connecticut fight fans.

Tough, under-talented, and great heart, Jesse Feliciano is a guy who fights every second of ever round and doesn't know the words "retreat" or "quit." He is old school...a throwback! And he is fun to watch.

Article posted on 26.03.2007

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