Pinoy boxer Romero Duno wins, joins line of world title aspirants
MANILA, Philippines – Filipino Romero Duno knocked down Juan Antonio Rodriguez in the 8th round en route to a split technical decision win in the 9th on Thursday, May 16 (Friday, May 17, Philippine time) at Fantasy Springs Resorts and Casino Indio, California.
More important, the tough, bruising victory is likely to pave the way for a world title crack for the Los Angeles-based Duno, who clinched the vacant WBO North America Boxing Organization lightweight crown.
Slightly behind in the scorecards, Duno, who was deducted a point for low blow in the 7th round, tagged Rodriguez with a wicked left to the body in the 8th that slowly sent the Mexican crumbling to the canvas on a delayed reaction. Rodriguez beat the count and Duno ran out of time to follow up.
Duno, who took the first two rounds before Rodriguez figured him out, was on attack mode in the 9th when Rodriguez sustained a cut in the cheek due to an accidental clash of heads.
Referee Raul Caiz Sr stopped the fight, leaving the outcome on the judges’ hands.
The first scorecard went to Rodriguez, 85-84, but the second favored Duno, 85-84.
Fortunately for Duno, the third scorecard went his way too, 86-84, enabling the pride of Cotabato City to fulfill his promise of avenging the defeat Rodriguez inflicted on his compatriot and friend, Mercito Gesta, on March 21.
The 23-year-old Duno, who was trained by former world champion Rodel Mayol, stretched his unbeaten run to 11 and raised his record to 20-1 with 15 knockouts.
Rodriguez, 31, fell to 30-8, 26 KOs.
Both Duno and Rodriguez came well prepared for the 10-rounder, the Filipino coming in at 134.6 pounds and the Mexican checking in t 134.2 during the official weigh-in on Wednesday.
JC Manangquil, CEO of Sanman Promotions which handles Duno, earlier said the battle with Rodriguez was a test to determine whether the power puncher is ready for a world title duel.
The result left the answer hanging. – Rappler.com