Wednesday, December 06, 2023  |


Newark prospects Emmanuel Rodriguez, Anthony Johns look to rebound on Nov. 11

Emmanuel Rodriguez (left) connects with a hook to the face of Juan Gabriel Medina. Photo by David Algranati/The Fight Photos
Fighters Network

Two of Newark’s top prospects will look to bounce back from defeats in their hometown as Emmanuel “Salserito” Rodriguez and Anthony Johns return in separate bouts at the Robert Treat Hotel on November 11.

Rodriguez (13-2, 7 knockouts) will face Gilberto Mendoza (19-16-4, 10 KOs) in an eight-round bantamweight bout while the flyweight prospect Johns (6-1, 5 KOs) will return to the ring against an opponent to be named.

Rodriguez, 30, is coming off a seventh round stoppage loss to Carlos Mujica this past May in Atlantic City. Rodriguez says he learned hard lessons from that experience, saying he took his preparations for the bout lightly, and had traveled to Puerto Rico three weeks before the fight. He packed on some pounds and had to lose 23 pounds to make the bantamweight limit, which he says left him feeling dehydrated and cramped.

“It was just a bad moment for me. I learned a lot from my last fight, so just being able to apply that for my upcoming fight in my hometown is just a blessing. I hope to get back into title contention,” said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez adds that he is still awaiting the resolution of his court case against Manuel Manzo, who failed a pre-fight urine test for an unspecified banned substance prior to their bout in November of 2022. Manzo initially won the fight by split decision but the fight could be declared a no contest, which would remove one defeat from Rodriguez’s record.

Johns, a 2019 National Golden Gloves champion, is coming off a majority decision loss to Misael Graffioli earlier this month in Argentina.

Other bouts set for the card include Kevin Asmat (6-3, 5 KOs) of North Bergen, N.J. against Danny Murray (6-7) of Lanoka Harbor, N.J. in a six-round lightweight bout.

Also slated for action are Derek Starling (6-2, 4 KOs), Malik Nelson (4-0, 3 KOs), Ghandi Romain (0-1), Gabriel Gerena (4-0, 3 KOs) and the debuting Joel Telles, plus a four-bout amateur undercard which includes National Golden Gloves semifinalist Jean Pierre Valencia of Irvington, N.J., among others.

The card will be promoted by Rising Star Promotions, which is owned and operated by middleweight contender Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna.