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Rodriguez stops Hernandez in eight on FNF

After scoring a questionable technical majority decision over Freddy Hernandez on a blown call, Delvin Rodriguez was awarded the correct verdict – an eight-round TKO victory – when local officials reviewed ESPN2’s instant replay of the Friday Night Fights main event at Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Conn. 

The scheduled 10-round junior middleweight fight between the two former title challengers, which featured heated exchanges but was also marred by repeated headbutts, originally went to the scorecards after Hernandez received a deep, bleeding gash over his left eye in the eighth round of a rough and competitive bout that most observers thought he was winning.

The referee thought the cut was caused by an accidental headbutt (as a smaller gash over Rodriguez’s right eye was cased earlier in the bout). Once Hernandez was deemed unfit to continue, the bout ended and the judges’ scorecards were tallied after eight rounds. Rodriguez, of nearby Danbury, Conn., was ahead on two cards (78-74 and 77-75) with the third card even (76-76).

However, what looked like a hometown decision quickly became legit outcome because the referee was wrong. ESPN2’s instant replays clearly showed that Rodriguez (28-6-3, 16 knockouts) landed two consecutive right hands – the first backed Hernandez (30-5, 20 KOs) to the ropes, the second landed directly to the Mexico native’s left eye – which caused the fight-ending cut.

The co-featured bout of the broadcast between Chris Howard and Issouf Kinda also ended on a cut, but one that was legitimately caused by an accidental headbutt. Howard (16-2-1, 7 KOs) was the recipient of the headbutt in the sixth round of the scheduled 10-round lightweight bout as well as generous scorecards of 58-56 (twice). The third scorecard was a 59-55 tally for Kinda (16-1, 6 KOs), which most observers agreed with.

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