Friday Night Fights

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Friday, May 16
Morales earns unanimous decision over Cermeno

SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Joe Morales improved to 19-7 (4 KO's) after being awarded a unanimous decision victory over Antonio Cermeno in a ten-round featherweight contest in the main event of ESPN2's Friday Night Fights.

A scoring nightmare of a contest was ultimately decided by Morales' more telling shots, particularly right hands, one that nearly floored the former three-time world champion. With the loss, Cermeno's record now stands at 41-5 (27).

In rounds one through four, Cermeno attempted to keep Morales on the outside by stepping in from a tall stance behind his long jab. However, the former two division champion rarely followed it up with effective right hands. Though Morales' connections were not as frequent, his shorter hooks and crosses on the inside produced the more meaningful results.

In rounds five and six, Cermeno started to incorporate the right hand behind the jab but often found himself throwing punches at an awkward Morales, who was moving away at angles that would not allow the Venezuelan native to connect with any real authority. Morales continued to score with periodical right hands.

Morales scored his best right hand of the night to open up round seven, a cross that sent Cermeno reeling backwards, the ropes preventing a sure knockdown.

Cermeno responded well in round eight, picking up the pace and throwing nearly 100 punches while connecting at over three times the frequency of Morales. The spirited late rally from Cermeno was halted in the next frame after referee Rafael Ramos deducted a point from Cermeno for holding behind the head while punching.

Adding insult to injury was the fact that Cermeno's intended illegal punch missed.

Both fighters showed signs of fatigue down the stretch and Cermeno's late attempts were too little, too late to get him back into the contest.

Scores and Punchstats
Morales landed 199 of his 794 attempts, connecting at 25 percent. Cermeno was good on 263 of 845, mostly jabs, while landing at 31 percent. Morales was awarded the contest on cards reading 96-93, 97-92 and 95-94. MaxBoxing had it 96-93.

Rodriguez Awarded UD over Adams
Erik Rodriguez improved to 12-0-1 (6) after being awarded a unanimous decision victory over Jason "Troll" Adams in a ten-round super bantamweight contest. Adams, fighting out of Edmonton, Alberta, showed enormous heart highlighted by a series of late-round rallies but in the end came up short against the hometown favorite. With the loss, Adams' record now stands at 7-4-1 (6).

Action through two saw Rodriguez scoring with telling left hooks to the body as well as right hands upstairs. An accidental head clash produced a cut over the right eye of Rodriguez in the opening frame but never became a factor in the contest.

Adams enjoyed a more effective round three as his continual aggressive pursuit produced an impressive hooking, uppercut combination. Rodriguez regained control in round four, a frame that saw a series of right hands bloodying Adams' nose.

Rodriguez maintained control in rounds five through seven against Adams while scoring with well-timed right hands that frequently shook his always-aggressive foe.

Adams, who trained in a steam room in preparation for the blistering 100 degree heat of the Sunset Station outdoor arena, put forth an impressive effort in the last three frames, winning two of them behind continued aggression and solid right hands.

Scores and Punchstats
Rodriguez landed 271 of 880 attempts, connecting at 31 percent. Adams was good on 280 of 827, while landing at a 34 percent clip. Rodriguez was awarded the contest by scores of 98-92 and 97-93 twice. MaxBoxing had it 97-94 for Rodriguez.

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