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Boxing News, March 30, 2007

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The Upsetter
Feliciano Wrecks the Hope of Touted Welterweight Feliciano



Before his bout with Jesse Feliciano, the Dominican-American welterweight Delvin Rodriguez was on the short-list of fighters expected to take over the division once Shane,
Oscar, and Floyd move on to new careers.

Tall with movie star good looks, Delvin puts his punches together beautifully. He has a fluidity that might come from a lot of practice but can’t be taught—think Tiger Woods’ golf swing. Unlike golf, in boxing, after you get off your shot, you’ve got to think about what’s coming back at you.

This is the part of Delvin’s game that needs work.

We knew this going in against Feliciano on Friday Night Fights, as he had been dropped before in fights—most recently by journeyman Christopher Henry in 2005. But he’d always shown heart, fighting back and usually getting the KO.

As expected, Rodriquez punished the hard-nosed Feliciano for most of the first eight rounds. The sharpshooter stung him with jabs, right hands, hooks—you name it. But Jesse is an unusually rugged kid, someone you’ve truly got to knockout, lest he’ll keep coming for you.

Feliciano applied constant pressure to Delvin, forcing him to move and perhaps affecting him psychologically—what’s it gonna take to stop this guy? The prospect had never gone past eight and was breathing through his mouth by the sixth and seventh. Although easily out-boxing Jesse, he was getting touched able to touched by rights throughout the night. Feliciano, always willing to take ten to get in one, was measuring him the whole time.

At 2:42 of the eighth the fight was stopped with Jesse earning a massive upset via TKO. A right hand had begun the onslaught, and put Delvin down hard. He managed to beat the count and get back to his feet, but never recovered his legs or shook out the cobwebs. Feliciano is not one to let a hurt opponent off the hook.

At the time of stoppage Rodriquez was winning by scores of 70-63 twice and 69-64. Now, at 20-2-1 (12), he goes back to the drawing board. The Las Vagas-based Feliciano, while still just a spoiler-opponent, can begin to dream again.

Jesse had begun his career rather auspiciously, going 12-2-1 against several legit names. Then, in 2004/2005, he had a spate of nasty losses to Mohamad Abdulaev (TKO 8), Mike Arnaoutis (TKO 1), Oscar Diaz (UD 10) and Demetrius Hopkins (KO 4). He moved up to welter and, seemingly stronger, earned an impressive win over Vince Phillips and an equally impressive draw against The Contender star Alfonso Gomez.  (It was actually his third meeting with Gomez.)

Speaking of The Contender, Feliciano just might be the next Grady Brewer.

Although Joe DeGuardia (Star Boxing) saw his future star in Delvin Rodriguez fall from the sky, he must’ve felt somewhat buoyed by another acquisition of his, the Moroccan welter Said Ouali.

He looked like a beast in tearing up Irving Garcia in two rounds (TKO @ 1:44). Ouali goes to 21-2 (13), while Garcia drops to 14-3-1 (7).

I question how far heavyweight Tony Grano will go. Hailing from Connecticut but plying his trade in Brooklyn gyms, he’s cornered by one of the top guys in Andre Rozier (who’s had Curtis Stevens and Joe Greene from their first amateur fights).

Now 8-0-1 (7), he’s been matched extra soft. John Trurlington, stopped at 2:25 in the first, was no exception. However, the opponent took at least a dozen hard punches right on the button and seemed able to continue. He’s doughy midsection and its response to the body work was a different story. Turlington fell to 5-11-1 (4)

We will reserve judgment of Grano until he’s matched against someone remotely formidable.

Ray Robinson, now 2-0, better be able to fight with a name like that. He took a UD 4 over Daniel Sostre with all three judges scoring it 40-35.  Sostre is 2-2 with no KO’s.




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