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Monessen's Vasquez earns 1st-round TKO in Showtime bout

Dan Grant | For the Valley Independent
Sammy Vasquez Jr. (right) defeated Juan Rodriguez Jr. by technical knockout on Friday, April 18, 2014, at the Monroeville Convention Center.

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Saturday, April 19, 2014, 12:26 a.m.

If first impressions mean anything, Sammy Vasquez Jr. will be back on Showtime very soon.

That's because Vasquez gave the world a quick, but impressive debut on “ShoBox: The New Generation” in demolishing Juan Rodriguez Jr. with a first-round technical knockout at the Monroeville Convention Center.

Vasquez (14-0, 10 KOs) dropped Rodriguez (11-1, 5 KOs) three times in the first round before referee Gary Rosaro stopped it at 2:49 of the initial round.

Vasquez, a Monessen native, didn't wait long to impose his will on Rodriguez, flooring his opponent with a solid right-left combination 27 seconds into the round.

With partisan Vasquez fans chanting “Sammy! Sammy!” Vasquez knocked Rodriguez, who was fighting for the first time in a year, down into the ropes with 1:15 left into the round with a solid left to the body. When Rodriguez got up, he was bleeding from his mouth.

Rosaro asked him if he wanted to continue and although Rodriguez Jr. barely responded, the action continued.

Vasquez stalked Rodriguez, pounding him with body shots and flooring him again with 19 seconds left in the round. Rosaro started to count and then just waved the fight off.

Vasquez overwhelmed Rodriguez, who at the weigh-in Thursday night said he was going to put Vasquez to sleep.

Vasquez landed 19 of 47 power punches in the quick fight and landed 23 of 79 punches, compared to Rodriguez landing just two of 18 total punches.

Sammy Vasquez Sr. said his son's next fight will likely be in late July, adding that there is a good chance it will be on Showtime and possibly be held in the Pittsburgh area.

Bunola's “Lightning” Rod Salka (19-3, 3 KOs) beat previously undefeated Alexei “The Hurricane” Collado (18-1, 16 KOs) in the main event on the ShoBox card. Salka won by unanimous decision, 96-93, 96-93 am 96-94.



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