By Ron Harris
Los Angeles, Ca. – Washington, DC native, Lamont Roach, Jr. continues to move toward a title shot with a unanimous decision win over Angel Rodriquez (20-2) at the Cripto.com Arena outside of Los Angeles, California.
Roach, fighting in the junior lightweight division, was the aggressor all night long. He never gave Rodriquez any breathing room. Rodriguez is a typical counter puncher, and all his punches came at Roach while backing up. He landed a few good shots, but Roach had no fear of Rodriquez’s power.
Roach displayed some outstanding defense in this fight. He was picking off Rodriquez’s punches like a hockey goalie. His head and upper body movement was polished like a championship contender. His promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, said he is sure Roach will get a title shot sometime next year.
In the middle of the 5th round, Roach, 26, caught Rodriquez with a perfect right hand that stunned and staggered him. He never rushed in to finish him off. Instead, he took his time and landed some effective body shots. His bodywork in the later rounds really slowed down Rodriguez. Roach’s father and trainer, Lamont, Sr. said, “I want him to come in behind his jab and wear him down.”
Roach (23-1-1) was all business. Even when Rodriquez had a little success, Roach’s facial expression never changed. He walked his opponent down for 12 rounds. The 31-year-old Rodriquez never was in the fight. Roach was dominant from the opening round. Roach doesn’t have the one punch knock-out power, but his shots are compact and they hurt. His combinations to the head and body are devastating. There are no world champions from the DMV at this time since Gary Russell, Jr. lost his featherweight title last winter. Roach may be next in line to bring a belt back home.
Photo credit: ShotbyKel
Ron Harris is a retired college administrator, coach, broadcaster, Internet and TV sports producer and former radio host of a live call-in show. He is tightly connected to the sports landscape in the Washington, DC metropolitan area and continues to cover Major League Baseball, college sports, boxing and other sports events.