For a moment, everything seemed so routine.
Fight, shower and dress, then leave the boxing venue.
Friday night, shortly before midnight, that process for Jose Alonzo became much less scripted.
With his right arm in the air and his left hand applying deodorant, Alonzo began to grin – wider and wider until he had to stop.
"Geez. I thank God," he said from the A La Carte Event Pavilion dressing room. "I thank God. I thank God."
That praise came after Alonzo pondered the fact minutes earlier, he beat Adam Jaco by split decision for the vacant USA Florida State super middleweight belt during the main event of the WingHouse Fight Night.
This was the first fight for Alonzo (13-0, 7 KOs) since February and just his second bout following an eight-year hiatus from the sport. Considering that history, Alonzo’s trainer, Don Kahn, was satisfied with the strong eight-round performance.
"I like more that he went the eight rounds than to knock him out in two or three rounds," Kahn said, "because then, he doesn’t gain anything. So I needed him to go eight rounds because you’re not going to always knock out your opponent. You need to go the distance to gain the conditioning and the strength for the next fight."
Alonzo admitted, Jaco (9-5-1, 4 KOs) employed a style that made it tougher to land the shots he did. That became clear in the second round when Alonzo landed a straight right counter punch that staggered Jaco. Immediately, Jaco clenched Alonzo to avert any additional danger.
In the fourth round, Jaco landed a right to the body, which was answered with a right cross from Alonzo. That blow caught Jaco off balance and he went into the ropes, absorbing blows, but able to finish the round.
Later in the fight, Alonzo’s corner shouted for him to put his punches together. He listened and began to connect more often and with added substance.
"He held me a lot. I wasn’t expecting that," Alonzo said. "And every time I went to go throw, he just kept holding me, but I thank God. Adam Jaco was a tough fighter. It was one of the toughest fights of my career, him and (Alberto) Albaladejo. He had a weird style."
This is the second title for the Spring Hill resident, who beat Albaladejo in 2003 for the WBA Fedecentro super middleweight belt.
There was nothing Daniel Rosario couldn’t do while on the night’s undercard against Tommy Bryant Jr.
in that junior welterweight fight, Rosario (3-0, 2 KOs) used his length to land solid, accurate shots all night, collecting a unanimous decision win. Even with the repeated punches, Bryant (2-5-1) continued to come forward, trying to land punches inside.
In the end, Rosario proved to be the more polished and technically sound fighter.
Junior middleweight Manny Woods had to work for his unanimous decision victory against Belgian Sheldon Moore. Woods (8-1-1, 3 KOs) made it a habit to be first with his punches, while Moore (3-1, 3 KOs) played the part of the counter puncher. That strategy likely kept Moore behind on the cards as Woods’ ability to stay busy – and not necessarily accurate – earned him the win.
Middleweight Alphonso Black needed just one round to keep his record unblemished, knocking out Reynaldo Rodriguez at the 2:44 mark.
Midway through the round, Black (2-0, 2 KOs) touched Rodriguez (0-1) with a grazing right, followed by a thudding left, dropping Rodriguez.
He beat the count, but as the fight resumed, Black attacked, landing another left hook, returning Rodriguez to the floor. As Rodriguez gathered himself on the canvass, referee Frank Gentile stopped the match at the 2:44 mark.
In the night’s opening bout, Zephyrhills’ Marlon Farr (1-1) earned a unanimous decision victory against Michael Rideout (0-1). Farr’s ability to counter punch paid dividends, allowing him to land shots and get out of Farr’s way.
When Farr, a mixed martial artist making his boxing professional debut, applied pressure, shots were there for him, but it was a tactic he employed sparingly.
Pedro Rodriguez (8-0, 6 KOs) escaped his match with a unanimous decision win against Chris Barnett (1-2, 1 KO).
Rodriguez used a highly effective jab, keeping Barnett on the outside and unable to mount any kind of a sustained attack. The opening round was a taste of what Rodriguez was able to do all night.
Working off that jab, Rodriguez landed a scoring combination to Barnett’s head. Because of that inability to get inside, Barnett was left to lunge forward at times, unleashing a wild overhand right.
Barnett’s best opportunity for a knockdown – or more – came in the third round when he caught an off balance Rodriguez with that looping overhand right. Despite having him hurt, Barnett refused to push the pace, allowing Rodriguez to pull away with the decision.
Welterweights Ali Tareh (9-9-1, 4 KOs) and Jose Duran (6-5-3, 3 KOs) fight to a six-round majority draw
Marquis Davis mounted his attack against Eric Borgerson as soon as the bell chimed. Davis (4-0-1, 4 KOs) landed a thudding right cross, backing up Borgerson. Moments later, following another right that wobbled Borgerson, Davis ripped a right to his body, putting him to the canvass.
Borgerson (0-1) could not beat the 10-count administered by referee Max Parker Jr., ending the fight just 34 seconds in.