EMMANUEL RODRIGUEZ retained the IBF bantamweight world title with a 12 round split decision over previously undefeated Jason Moloney and Yunier Dorticos scored a unanimous decision over Mateusz Masternak in his Ali Trophy quarter-final on Saturday (October 20) at the CFE Arena in Orlando.
The scores were 115-113 for Moloney and two times 115-113 for Rodriguez when the Puerto Rican favourite secured a place in the semi-final after a phenomenal display of heart, skills and courage from both fighters.
“It was a tough and close fight but I saw myself winning,” Rodriguez. “Thanks to Moloney for bringing out the best in me.”
Moloney, Australia’s proud warrior, believed he did enough to turn the fight in his favour.
“I am devastated,” said Moloney. “After the fifth round I came on very strong and I believe I won most if not all of the remaining rounds. I hope I can achieve my dream and become world champion very soon.”
Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer, Kalle Sauerland was impressed with what he saw.
“This is a Fight of the Year contender,” said Sauerland “Congrats to Rodriguez and what a challenge from Moloney. He doesn’t have to worry, he will become world champion very soon.”
Rodriguez will now face WBA bantamweight world champion Japan’s Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue in the semi-final. The pair faced off immediately after Rodriguez’ hard-fought clash.
“Congratulations to Rodriguez,” said Inoue. “I am looking forward to a spectacular semi-final.”
In the second quarter-final bout of the evening, Miami-based Cuban Yunier Dorticos won a tough twelve round unanimous decision over Poland’s Mateusz Masternak. The judges scored the fight 116-112, 115-113 and 115-113 in favour of the ‘KO Doctor’. Dorticos was clearly the harder puncher especially in the early rounds, but Masternak fought his way back with his fearless approach and technical boxing abilities.
“The fight was very hard, but I am happy with the result,” said Dorticos. “A big thank you to all the fans and the World Boxing Super Series.”
Dorticos’ next challenge is USA’s Andrew Tabiti in the semi-final. “Andre Tabiti better be ready, because The ‘KO Doctor’ is back,” said Dorticos. “This season we will win the Ali Trophy and bring it back to Miami.”
Next week the World Boxing Super Series travels to New Orleans for two Ali Trophy quarter-finals on October 27 at the U.N.O. Lakefront Arena, New Orleans, USA: Regis Prograis (United States) vs. Terry Flanagan (England) for the WBC super-lightweight Diamond title & Ivan Baranchyk (Belarus) vs Anthony Yigit (Sweden) in a IBF super-lightweight championship bout.