Emmanuel Rodriguez clinched the IBF bantamweight championship title for the second time. The spectacular event aired live from The Theater at MGM National Harbor, Maryland, brought to you by Premier Boxing Champions on SHOWTIME.
Despite facing swelling over his right eye from the second round, Rodriguez (with a record of 22-2, 13 KOs) showcased impeccable skill. The issue became noticeable as the fight progressed, yet this didn’t deter him. All three judges unanimously scored the bout 120-105 in his favor.
Rodriguez said, “Six months of rigorous training in Mexico has paid off.” Hailing from Puerto Rico, he attributed this win to his diligent team. Expressing his Latin pride, he cheered for Latin America, Puerto Rico, and Mexico.
Remarking on the headbutt incident, he added, “While my eye swelled considerably, my vision remained unobstructed throughout, all thanks to my team.”
Lopez, however, wasn’t an easy contender. Rodriguez underscored his victory by flooring Lopez (29-2, 19 KOs) thrice in the concluding round. On his strategy, Rodriguez noted, “Our focus was on showcasing skill and deliveringhard punches. I’ve got my eyes on Santiago next.”
Conversely, Lopez felt optimistic about his chances, especially later in the bout. He voiced his frustration with the referee and was disappointed by the outcome.
Gary Antuanne Russell, a local Maryland hero, and 2016 U.S. Olympian, displayed a stunning performance against Kent Cruz. He accomplished his eighth first-round knockout, leaving Cruz floored within the initial two minutes and 39 seconds.
When the telecast began, Gabriel Maestre exhibited an outstanding display against Travon Marshall, leading to a second-round TKO. Maestre’s winning move was a powerful combination, sending Marshall reeling through the ropes.
SHOWTIME BOXING COUNTDOWN also featured stellar performances from Michael Angeletti and Jose Benavidez, Jr. Damien Vazquez also made a mark with a sixth-round TKO against Jeronil Borres.
Esteemed sportscaster Brian Custer hosted the event, and the commentating team included acclaimed personalities from the boxing world.
For those who missed the live telecast, catch the replay on SHOWTIME EXTREME®.