The third fight of the night came down to a split decision, as 140-pounders Michael Salcido of Eloy and Julio Rodas went toe-to-toe for four rounds to open the professionals portion of Friday Night Fights at the Madison.
After a big exchange early, Salcido scored a knockdown. It proved to be the difference, as over the course of the rest of the fight, Rodas landed blow after blow and drew blood from Salcido’s nose
Body shots by Rodas had an effect as Salcido winced in pain to end the second round. A couple of wild hooks from Rodas landed, but Salcido wouldn’t go down.
In the end he won for the first time in three bouts at the Madison.
Next up was Rafael Rivera against Jesse Ruiz at 114. Ruiz was the taller fighter with a clear reach advantage, but Rivera neutralized that from the start by going inside and keeping Ruiz from extending his arms to throw punches.
After an even first round, Rivera began to land and Ruiz wasn’t able to counter much. By the end of three rounds, Rivera was dictating the pace and action and a frustrated Ruiz didn’t score with enough shots.
In the end the judges’ decision was unanimous for Rivera, 38-37, 38-37, 38-37.
At much heavier weight, plodding Joe Martell faced a faster and more active Anthony Garcia and it seemed Martell wasn’t into the fight much. He struggled to find a rhythm and found himself trying long roundhouse rights that hardly connected or were blocked. Garcia was clearly in good shape, bouncing about the ring and landing more punches faster.
Martell came out thowing right away to start the final round but fell back into his sluggish ways even as his corner pleaded for him to keep his hands up and throw punches. Garcia got the unanimous decision.