If you call this an upset, you weren't paying attention. Rod Salka (19-3 3 KO) scored the biggest win of his career by beating Alexei Collado and taking his undefeated record. Salka was the underdog coming in but to people paying attention this win isn't a surprise.
Collado had a style tailor made for Salka and this was a do or die fight for Salka. It showed as he came in determined and fit as ever for what may have been his final shot at a title. He started fast by pumping the jab and landing a nice right in the first. The second round was closer but Salka put an end to any momentum Collado had going when he went to the body and dropped him in the third.
The fight then settled into Collado stalking, mostly unsuccessful, while Salka controlled the ring and boxed beautifully. The only break in this pattern was a low blow from Collado that stopped action in the fifth round. The pace of the fight suited Salka and was a major reason for his victory.
"I dictated the pace of the fight. I kept him where I wanted him and forced him to keep going for that overhand right, which he couldn't land cleanly. I was throwing first and throwing last, just like I wanted to do. I mixed up my offense well and kept my hands up."
Collado didn't say much but gave Salka credit, "He was smart and that was the difference. He kept moving. His movement was the problem for me." Salka will now head to Carson, California to call out the winner between world champion Omar Figueroa and Jerry Belmontes.
In the television opener Sammy Vasquez did as expected and kept climbing the ranks as he smashed Juan Rodriguez. Vasquez didn't look to go past a round and didn't as he knocked Rodriguez down thrice to earn the stoppage.
Vasquez worked for the win though, "It's not that it was easy, it was that it was well-executed. We had a game plan, stuck to it and that's what happened. All the fans, the soldiers watching overseas on AFN (American Forces Network), my family watching on Showtime, that was the biggest part of the night."
The win will keep Vasquez (14-0 10 KO) moving up the ranks and should land him another television date. Vasquez landed a good left to score the first knockdown and was dominant from there. The crowd wanted more but the referee stopped the action at 2:49 after the third knockdown.
Big time boxing made a return to The Burgh last night and fans showed there is still love for the sport here. Hopefully the vocal crowd convinced Mike Tyson that Pittsburgh can be a hotbed of boxing once again.