By Jon Uddin✏
Recapping Rashidi Ellis’s return against Eddie Gomez, Xu Can’s Featherweight Title defense against undefeated Manny Robles III, and the fallout from the Luis Nery/Emmanuel Rodriguez fight cancellation.
ELLIS OWNS GOMEZ: It was a successful return to the ring for Welterweight “Speedy” Rashidi Ellis (22-0-0, 14KO) who dominated rival Eddie “E-Boy” Gomez (23-4-0, 13KO) over 10 rounds en route to a unanimous decision win in their rematch with scores of (100-90, 99-91, 99-91). After a year away from the action, the 26 year old native of Lynn, Massachusetts, looked just as fast and sharp as he did in his last fight in October of 2018 when he stopped Saul Corral. There was plenty of verbal gamesmanship from Gomez as he took plenty of offense to Ellis stating that he viewed their rematch as a “tune up”, but the Bronx native came up short Saturday night as he just wouldn’t let his hands go enough to make any sort of impact in the fight.
XU CAN BRING THE HEAT: China’s Xu Can and his high volume output kept Manny Robles III flustered and his hands frozen as he held on to the WBA (REGULAR) Featherweight title, and handed Robles III his first loss with scores of 120-108, 119-108 and 118-110. Can (18-2-0, 3KO) unleashed an incredible 1562 punches, more than doubling Robles (18-1-0, 8KO) output of 765. Proving that he has the personality to match the action he brings inside the ropes, Can ended his night by calling out Josh Warrington in his post fight interview, which in all honesty after seeing his work rate, sign me up for that one.
THE BLAME GAME: There’s plenty of heat coming down from fans and media after the Bantamweight bout between Luis Nery and Emmanuel Rodriguez that was set to take place on the undercard to the Wilder-Ortiz rematch, was called off due to Nery coming in at 119 pounds, one pound over the 118 pound limit.
Surprisingly, a lot of the bashing that has taken place has been directed at Rodriguez who declined to renegotiate the terms of the bout after learning Nery had no desire to even make an attempt at dropping the extra pound. I applaud Rodriguez for taking the stance and standing by it after most assuredly receiving plenty of pressure to go ahead with the fight. Many fighters would have taken the adjusted terms after putting in work through camp, having a team behind them who will also be losing out on money if the fight doesn’t take place, and promoters adding plenty of pressure as they can’t afford to scratch one of the more highly touted fights on the card.
Make no mistake that the blame for this falls squarely on the shoulders of Nery who already comes well equipped with a checkered past. He’s already been banned for life from fighting in Japan, has been stripped of titles and suspended for missing weight, and been popped by VADA for banned substances. On the other hand you have a fighter in Rodriguez that came in ready to go, taking this fight right on the heels of being battered and knocked out by Naoya Inoue this past May, no tune ups in between, collecting a purse of $70k compared to $300k for Nery. Seems like plenty of things were already against Rodriguez heading into this one so to have Nery balk at even making an attempt to drop weight was enough for him to walk away in this situation.