Chordale Booker is solidifying his status as a contender at 154 pounds.
Booker stopped Julio de Jesus Rodriguez Wednesday night at the Bavaro Convention Center in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. Booker, who resides in Stamford, Connecticut, improved to 21-1, 10 knockouts.
The southpaw Booker walked Rodriguez down from the opening bell, but it was not until the last minute of the first round that Booker let his hands go. Rodriguez, the taller fighter, attempted to counter and work Booker’s body.
Booker was more aggressive and assertive entering the second round, throwing and landing combinations as Rodriguez was pinned with his back to a corner. A straight left to the body seemed to take air out of Rodriguez, who backed up away from Booker.
Midway through the round, a straight left hand stunned Rodriguez. Booker pinned Rodriguez in a corner, battering him until referee Oscar Pena stepped in to stop the fight at 1:36. Rodriguez did not look visibly hurt, but the fight was likely stopped because Rodriguez was not throwing punches back and to save him from getting seriously hurt.
Booker, who is a promotional free agent, has now won his last four bouts since a first round knockout loss to unbeaten middleweight Austin Williams. In his previous fight on August 12, Booker knocked out Nicolas Hernandez in the seventh round.
Wednesday night’s win also marked Booker’s fourth fight of 2023. Booker had only fought once in 2020, 2021, and 2023. Manager Paul Guarino told BoxingScene he will request the World Boxing Organization (WBO) place Booker in their top 15 rankings.
“It was a great win and did what we had to do,” Guarino told BoxingScene Thursday morning. “Our goal is to sign with a top promoter and get a world title fight. Booker should be back in the ring in early 2024.”
The WBO is currently holding their annual convention in Punta Cana.
The hard-hitting Rodriguez, who resides in San Francisco de Macoris in the Dominican Republic, falls to 27-7, 24 KOs. The 41-year-old Rodriguez has lost his last six bouts.
In the opening bout of the Shuan Boxing card, middleweight Dormedes Potes of Colombia dropped Marcos Osorio-Betancourt twice en route to a hard-fought unanimous decision victory.
Scores were 96-92, 96-92, and 95-93 for Potes, who improved to 14-4-1, 10 KOs. Osorio, who resides in Canovanas, Puerto Rico, falls to 11-1-1, 8 KOs.
In an action fight, junior middleweight Jorge Garcia Perez of Los Mochis, Mexico pulled off the upset win, defeating prospect Angel Cruz Johnson by unanimous decision. Scores were 98-90, 97-91, and 96-92 for Garcia, who improved to 27-4, 22 KOs.
Garcia dropped Cruz to the canvas early in the fourth round from a right cross to the head. From the seventh round on, Garcia battered Cruz, stunning him on several occasions. Garcia dropped Cruz again less than a minute left in the ninth round.
Cruz, who resides in Samana in the Dominican Republic, falls to 10-1, 9 KOs.
In a clash of unbeaten featherweights who reside in the Dominican Republic, Miguel Queliz Santos improved to 8-0, 2 KOs, defeating Yermi Peralta Jimenez (10-1, 6 KOs) by unanimous decision. All three judges scored the bout 77-75, 77-75 and 78-74 for Queliz Santos.
In another bout of unbeaten fighters, super middleweight Ernesbadi Begue of Guantanamo, Cuba, now residing in Santo Domingo, defeated Colombia’s Juan Diego Ortiz by split-decision. One judge scored the bout 95-92 for Ortiz (7-1, 6 KOs), while the other two judges scored the bout 96-91 and 94-93 for Begue, who goes to 10-0, 6 KOs.
The southpaw Ortiz dropped Begue with a counter right hook to the head moments into the seventh round. Ortiz was deducted a point in round eight for a low, after receiving several warnings from referee Celestino Ruiz. Begue dropped Ortiz late in round nine with a counter right cross to the head.
In the final bout of the evening, junior lightweight Kaipo Gallegos stopped Diomedez Ramirez (5-2, 4 KOs) of the Dominican Republic in the sixth round. Gallegos, who resides in Las Vegas, Nevada, improved to 3-0-1, 3 KOs.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for BoxingScene since September 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing