Moore Ends The Suspense Early

Posted: June 12, 1990

Junior welterweight contender Rodney Moore stood in his dimly lit dressing room at the Blue Horizon and announced euphorically: "I want it. I want it all."

What Moore wants, naturally enough, is a title shot. He inched ever so closer to that last night with a stunning, first-round TKO over Mario Fuentes, of Mexico City. Cheered on by an enthusiastic crowd, the North Philadelphia boxer sent Fuentes sprawling to the canvas twice with terrific right hands and ended it at 1:46 of the round; it took longer for his corner men to cut off his gloves.

Moore was understandably delighted with his performance but was somewhat surprised that he disposed of his opponent in the hastily arranged bout with such haste.

"I just wanted to be cautious (in the first round), not get careless," said Moore (24-6-2, 11 KOs). "I expected him to come out after me, but he was backing up, and I could see he was showing me too much respect . . . My corner always told me I could punch."

In the press release promoting the fight, which was arranged after a lightweight bout between David Gonzales (gunshot wound) and Darryl Tyson was called off late last month, Fuentes (16-7-2, 15 KOs) was advertised as having a "typical walk-in styled attack." That proved to be partly correct: Fuentes walked in but offered little that could be mistaken for an attack.

Sensing that he could be home before the 11 o'clock news, Moore thought he had Fuentes early in the round when he decked him with a right hand to the temple.

"That was a crushing blow," Rockin' Rodney said. "I saw his eyes roll to the side. I knew I had him. The only question was when."

Ranked No. 8 by the International Boxing Federation, the highest he has been ranked in his career, Moore, 25, has compiled an 12-0-2 record since losing to world-rated Terrance Alli in May 1987. Conceding that he has been something of a "late bloomer" - in part because of the absence of a solid amateur career - Moore said he thought his convincing victory over Fuentes would help him both in the rankings and his quest for a title shot against IBF and World Boxing Council junior welterweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez.

"I just started developing in the last three years," Moore said. "Ever since I was able to hang in there with Terrence Alli - who was world-rated and more experienced - I have been working harder. Winning like this tonight should move me up a notch or two."

Manager Fred Jenkins thought so, and envisioned a title shot for Moore ''sometime in the next year."

"We plan to keep busy between now and then," Jenkins said. "Before we got into the top 10, our goal was to take on opponents in the top 10. Now, our goal is to get either an elimination bout or title bout."

Two other first-round knockouts highlighted the six-bout card. In the evening's third bout - and also its shortest one - featherweight Tony ''Dynamite" Green (11-2-1, 7 KOs), of North Philadelphia, blitzed Fernando Rodriguez (8-1, 2 KOs), of Lancaster, in the opening seconds of the first with three left hooks and sent him spinning through the ropes. Rodriquez struggled to climb back in the ring, but was counted out at 17 seconds of the round.

Said the jubilant Green afterward: "I just decided I wasn't going to be here all night."

Neither was fellow North Philadelphian Luis Adino. In a scheduled four- round junior welterweight bout, Adino spoiled the pro debut of Wilmington's Steve Martin with a lightning left hook. Martin bounced off the canvas with a resounding thud; his eyes rolled back and blood squirted from his mouth. A stretcher was brought into the ring immediately, but Martin recovered, stood shakily, and left the ring under his own power.

In other bouts: Junior welterweight Jose Avila (6-4, 4 KOs), of New York, scored a six-round decision over Tracy Muse (9-3, 5 KOs), of Baltimore. Lightweight Jimmy Deoria (2-0, 1 KO), of Phoenixville, scored a four-round decision over William Morales (0-1), of Chester, and cruiserweight Barrington White (4-1, 2 KOs), of Camden, scored a four-round decision over Jerry Rash (6-4-2 KOs), of Elkton, Md.

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