Michael Rosenthal

Broner stops Rodriguez to win vacant title

Adrien Broner stopped Martin Rodriguez at 1:43 of the third round to win the vacant WBO junior lightweight title on Saturday in Broner’s hometown of Cincinnati, the first half of a split-site doubleheader with the Saul Alvarez-Kermit Cintron fight in Mexico.

Broner (22-0, 18 knockouts) hurt Rodriguez (34-3-1, 19 KOs) with a right uppercut and, after a flurry on punches, put the Argentine down and out with a perfect left hook.

Rodriguez, far inferior to Broner in terms of skill, was having some success roughing up the former amateur star.

However, the right uppercut changed everything. Broner, 22, unloaded a barrage of punches before knocking Rodriguez onto his seat, where he remained for a count of 10.

This is Broner’s first major title.

“This is my dream,” said Broner, who was teary-eyed after his victory. “As I started this, when I was 6, I told my dad I’d be a world champion. On Nov. 26, 2011 I’m a world champion.”

Broner struggled to outpoint Daniel Ponce de Leon in March but followed that with an impressive first-round knockout of Jason Litzau in June.

Rodriguez was fighting for only the second time in his six-year career.

On the undercard, rising prospect Gary Russell Jr. (19-0, 11 KOs) stopped Heriberto Ruiz (47-12-2, 29 KOs) in the first round of a scheduled 10-round junior lightweight bout.

A full story will follow shortly.

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