In front of a packed house at the Sport Palace in the capital of Ukraine, undefeated #1 ranked cruiserweight contender Oleksandr Usyk, (9-0-0, 9KO’s) scored a seventh round stoppage of Pedro “El Reguilete” Rodriguez, 22-2-0 (19KO’s), on Saturday night. Defending his WBO Inter-Continental Cruiserweight Title for the fourth time, Usyk aggressively battled the Cuban from the opening bell, dropping him in the sixth stanza. Following a barrage of punches from the 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist, Rodriguez was sent to the canvas again in the seventh as the fight was waived off.
With the victory Usyk looks ahead to a big campaign in 2016.
“Rodriguez had a great deal of experience and was crafty so it took me a couple of rounds to time him but once I put my punches together I was hurting him with each shot,” said Usyk. “It was a good stoppage, he was badly hurt, I’m happy with my performance.”
Said Alexander Krassyuk, head of K2 Promotions Ukraine, “I’m very happy with Oleksandr’s performance, he continues to improve with each fight. We believe he’s the best cruiserweight in the world and we look forward to him continuing to prove that with each fight. We are looking to challenge for the cruiserweight world title within the next several months.”
A full fight video can be streamed here;
#1 Ranked Cruiserweight Contender Oleksandr Usyk, (8-0, 8KO’s), will return to battle on Saturday, December 12 against world ranked, once beaten Pedro “El Reguilete” Rodriguez, (21-1, 19KO’s), of Miami, Florida in a scheduled 12-round battle for the vacant WBO Inter-Continental Cruiserweight Title at the Sport Palace in Kiev, Ukraine.
Presented by K2 Promotions Ukraine, Usyk will be making the fourth defense of his WBO Inter-Continental Cruiserweight Title.
“I’m thrilled to be fighting again in the capital of Ukraine,” said Usyk, who earned a Gold Medal for Ukraine at the 2012 Olympics in London. “Rodriguez is a very tough Cuban and the biggest puncher of my young career but I’ll be well prepared for victory as I head towards my goal of becoming the cruiserweight champion of the world.”
“Boxing fans are thrilled to welcome Oleksandr back to Kiev for this upcoming fight,” said Alexander Krassyuk of K2 Promotions Ukraine. “The international response we’ve received from his ascent in the cruiserweight rankings has been tremendous, the whole world wants to see his fights.”
“But Rodriguez is the next challenge so first Oleksandr must focus on this fight and then we can look forward to a big 2016.”
The 29-year-old Usyk is coming off a third round stoppage of Johnny Muller on August 29 In Kiev. He is currently world ranked #1 by the WBO and #8 by the WBC. He is also ranked #8 by Ring Magazine and #10 by USA Today.
Also 29-years-old, Rodriguez has won fourteen bouts in a row since suffering his only loss in 2012. He will be making his seventh start of 2015, most recently stopped Roberto Jimenez on September 4 in the Dominican Republic.