Bantamweight contender Emmanuel Rodriguez knocked out late-sub Robinson Lavinanza in the opening round late Saturday night at the Parque Concepcion Perez Alberto in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.
Rodriguez improves to 16-0 (with 11 knockouts). Lavinanza, who was fighting outside of Chile for the first time in his career, falls to 11-4-1 (with 4 KOs).
The 24-year-old Rodriguez was scheduled to face former two-division titleholder Omar Narvaez of Argentina in an IBF title elimination bout but Narvaez never set foot in Puerto Rico to take part in pre-fight festivities leading up to Saturday. Lavianza took the fight on two days’ notice.
Rodriguez is ranked No. 4 by the IBF, while Narvaez is ranked No. 3.
Rodriguez took the fight to the overmatched southpaw, who has now lost his last two bouts. About a minute into the round, a left hook to the body dropped Lavinanza to one knee. Moments later, Lavinanza was dropped a second time, by a right hand to the head.
The end of the bout came at 2:21 when Rodriguez dropped Lavinanza a third time, courtesy of a left hook to the body.
Rodriguez, who is also ranked No. 8 by the WBA and No. 3 by the WBC, fought four times in 2015 but just once in 2016.
Junior lightweight Alfredo Santiago won a 10-round unanimous decision over Arturo Santos Reyes (19-7, 5 KOs). All three judges scored the bout 99-91 in favor of Santiago, who goes to 8-0 (with 2 KOs).
Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper, BoxingScene.com and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing.
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Source:: The Ring – Boxing