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Aston Palicte looks ready for title fight after KO of Jose Rodriguez

Aston Palicte (right)
Fighters Network

Facing the most experienced opponent of his career so far, Aston Palicte put it all together.

The junior bantamweight prospect from the Bago City, Philippines scored a fifth-round technical knockout of Jose Alfredo Rodriguez Friday at the Round Rock Sports Center in Round Rock, Texas, dropping his Mexican foe from a right uppercut that impacted him on delay and caused the referee to stop the fight at the :45 mark.

More than just the result, it was also the manner in which Palicte (24-2, 20 knockouts) broke down Rodriguez (32-7, 19 KOs) that earned him praise from Guy Taylor, matchmaker for Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions, and his trainer Rodel Mayol, with whom he’s working with for the second fight.

Palicte was particularly devastating with uppercuts from both hands, which opened up right hands between and around the guard, handing Rodriguez his third straight stoppage loss, and in quicker fashion than Jerwin Ancajas and Kazuto Ioka were able to finish him.

“That’s one of our killer punches for this fight,” said Mayol, who worked for five weeks with Palicte at Wild Card Gym for this fight. “Left hook and right uppercut is the key.”

“Aston looked very impressive,” said Taylor in a Facebook message. “Everything was working for him as he dismantled a former world champion (Rodriguez briefly held the interim WBA junior flyweight title) in devastating fashion tonight.”

Taylor says he wants to see Palicte, 26, step up once again and face Hong Kong fighter Rex Tso (22-0, 13 KOs) in a title eliminator. Tso is rated number 1 by the WBO at 115 pounds while Palicte is a spot below him for the title currently held by Naoya Inoue. 

Tso, 30, is coming off a seventh-round technical decision win over Kohei Kono in October, when bad swelling from an accidental headbutt caused the fight to head to the scorecards early.

“He is ready for a world title fight and I think he is the strongest [fighter at] 115 pounds,” said Mayol. Palicte echoed his trainer, saying he’s “always ready.”

“Eliminator, then Inoue for world title,” Palicte said of his plans.

An email to Tso’s manager Jay Lau requesting comment was not returned by the time of this story’s publication.

In the co-featured fight on the beIN Sports televised card, Ali Akhmedov (10-0, 7 KOs) of Kazakhstan topped DeShon Webster (9-1, 6 KOs) of Kansas in a light heavyweight battle of unbeatens. Webster lost points in the third and fourth for holding, leading to scores of 100-88 on two cards and 99-89 on the third.