Saturday, March 25, 2023  |


Rodriguez stops overmatched Tahdooahnippah in six on FNF


Delvin Rodriguez easily dispatched of overmatched veteran George Tahdooahnippah with a sixth round stoppage in the main event of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn.

Tahdooahnippah had taken an horrific beating all fight when Rodriguez dialed it up in the sixth round, pushing his foe to the ropes with power shots, when referee Eddie Cotton finally saved the 34-year-old Oklahoma native from further punishment, giving Rodriguez the TKO victory at 2:41.

“That was a really good fight, the fans loved it and that’s my main job,” said Rodriguez, who was making his 15th appearance on the series. “I knew I had to win this fight impressively and I believe I did the job. I want to fight the top guys.”

It was clear from the toll of the opening bell that Tahdooahnippah (31-1-1, 23 knockouts) didn’t belong on the world-class level. He was beaten from pillar to post, offering little in the way of head movement or defense. Rodriguez (27-6-3, 15 KOs) entered the bout having lost in four of his last seven outings, but the soft opposition brought him back to his winning ways.

The 32-year-old veteran belted Tahdooahnippah around the ring in the second round and had him out on his feet, but the underdog was saved by the bell.

There was a lot of commotion between rounds two and three and the fight appeared to be over when Cotton signaled the end of the bout. Tahdooahnippah’s corner protested and Cotton admitted his mistake, informing ESPN that he believe the ringside doctor had stopped the bout.

Unfortunately for Tahdooahnippah, the fight (and beating) moved forward.

Tahdooahnippah’s corner repeatedly screamed “Hands up, hands up, move, move, move,” but their charge never took the instructions. He continued to plod forward with his face a crimson mask, offering little in return to dissuade Rodriguez’s attack.

The Danbury, Conn., native continued to pour it on in the third round and in the waning moments of the frame, he buzzed “The Comanche Boy” with power left hooks and overhand rights. Tahdooahnippah moved like he was in quicksand and it was readily apparent that the limited fighter was ill prepared to fight at the main event level.

It was Tahdooahnippah’s third fight outside of his native Oklahoma and first against a name boxing fans would recognize. He turned pro at the advanced age of 25 and learned on the go with zero amateur fights under his belt. He showed he’s a tough fighter, but little else on this night.



Follow Mike Coppinger on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger