McWilliams Arroyo batters Abraham Rodriguez en route to a fifth round surrender!
In the co-main event of the Canelo Alvarez v Avni Yildirim undercard, McWilliams Arroyo (21-4, 16 KO’s) claimed his sixteenth professional stoppage. With the impressive showing against Abraham “Choko” Rodriguez (27-3, 13 KO’s), Arroyo walked away with the interim WBC Flyweight title.
For what it’s worth, Rodriguez was a late replacement for WBC World Flyweight champion Julio Cesar Martinez (17-1, 13 KO’s). The two were all slated to go head-to-head when Martinez had to withdraw from the match due to a last minute hand injury. Had they fought, the bout would have stood as his third title defense.
Even more vexing, this was not the first time that a Martinez versus Arroyo prizefight has been thwarted. They were going to fight on August 15, 2020. Yet, once again it was Martinez who had to pull out. On that occasion he cited a fever and throat infection as the reason why. Now that Arroyo has claimed the win, it’s very likely that he will try to dance with Martinez for a third time.
As many may have expected, Arroyo took quick control of the fight. Over the course of the opening three periods, the Puerto Rican stalked Rodriguez, who preferred to circle the outside perimeter of the ring. Even though Arroyo was the aggressor, Choko handled himself well. On the back foot and while largely moving in reverse, he found a home for plenty of thudding shots.
Yet, in the final minute of the third period, Arroyo clipped Rodriguez with a crispy hook that appeared to seriously buzz him. The hurtful shot was preceded by two rounds of stomach-bruising body strikes. Arroyo continued his ribcage assault in the fourth, only this time a crunching series of body shots punctuated by a hook to the mouth put Rodriguez on his knee. The proud Mexican found his feet but he was clearly hurt. The end was not far behind.
Unable to truly recuperate in between rounds, Rodriguez was in no condition to keep Arroyo off of him. With his defenses nonexistent, the Puerto Rican continued to steamroll Choko. After pelting the Mexican all around the ring, his corner had seen enough and threw in the white towel of surrender. With the fifth round win, Arroyo walked away with the interim WBC World Flyweight title. If all goes as planned, a rescheduled fight with Martinez should not be far off.
By: Bakari Simpson