by Alex Pierpaoli
Delvin Rodriguez, Danbury, retained his USBA Welterweight Title at Mohegan Sun in an exciting and hard fought unanimous decision win over Atlantic City’s Shamone Alvarez. Delvin rallied in the late rounds, surviving an injured right hand and scoring a knockdown in the eleventh, to secure the close victory on the judges’ scorecards. Rodriguez-Alvarez was the Main Event of ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights, which broadcasted three bouts of the seven bout show, live from Montville.
When the decision for the Main Event came it was razor-thin but unanimous in Delvin’s favor; Judges Don Trella and Joe Pasquale tabbed Delvin the winner by 114-113 and Glen Feldman had it slightly wider for him at 115-112.
Afterwards, Delvin spoke to reporters in the locker room, his right hand and wrist wrapped in an ice pack. A member of the Dot-Com Media told Delvin that Compu-Box only had him throwing 3 right hands in round nine after the injury occurred.
“It hurt!” Delvin laughed. “I try not to show the opponent because you never want to show the opponent what you feel, you know, no matter how much it hurts. So I came back with my left hand and hit’em with the hook and a lot of jabs. As a fighter that’s what you gotta do, man.”
A disappointed Shamone Alvarez said later that although he felt he deserved the decision Shamone blamed himself for letting the fight get too close.
“I just messed up, man,” Shamone said. “I gave him one foot too much, that six inches to a foot of distance and then that daggone knockdown.”
In victory Delvin becomes a likely challenger to IBF titlist Joshua Clottey, the same man Shamone lost to by decision before meeting Delvin. If anyone could assess the two it would be the man who has now fought both of them and in that comparison Shamone likes Joshua over Delvin.
“I think Joshua is a little more stronger,” Shamone opined on the IBF Champ. “I guess because of his center of gravity. He’s a little shorter, like he’s got this center of gravity thing going on. Just a little stronger…He threw more punches faster.”
With the loss, Shamone drops to 20-2 (11) and Delvin improves 24-2-2 (14).
Also, in a special presentation from the United States Naval Academy, Capt. Karen Direnzo swore in Ship Serviceman Second Class Brian J. Namiluk who returned to Iraq on March 11. Brian entered the ring a civilian and was under no obligation to re-enlist and return to active duty in a war-zone but was doing so to set an example to the assembled and to support his Brothers-in-Arms overseas.
“I wanted to do something in front of a lot of people, Brian said. “And I wanted it to be special.” It was, and Brian received a very warm and heartfelt round of applause from the Mohegan Sun crowd. The Resident wishes him safety and good luck in his deployment.