Joseph “Blessed Hands” Adorno, a former amateur standout with heavy hands was forced to rely on his guile and discipline to fend off a tenacious effort from Hugo Alberto Roldan in winning a 10-round unanimous decision in the super lightweight main event of ShoBox on Friday at Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel & Casino’s Grand Ballroom in Atlantic City.
Adorno, who won by scores of 95-94, 95-94, 95-94 and recorded a knockdown in the second round, collapsed to the canvas, overcome with emotion as the judges’ scorecards were read.
After losing a competitive decision to lightweight contender Michel Rivera in March for the first loss of his career, Adorno (17-1-2, 14 KOs) won his third straight fight on Friday, showing poise and composure in staving off the unorthodox advances of Roldan, who sustained his first loss and fell to 21-1-1 with 7 KOs.
“I feel like all the hard work I put in since I was a little kid is finally starting to pay off and coming all together,” said Adorno, who took the fight with Roldan on four weeks notice after Shinard Bunch withdrew from the main event.
“I did lose a little love for boxing for a while. But I’m proud. He was an awkward fighter. I took the fight on short notice. He’s a higher weight class than me. I’m a 135-pounder. All the hard work pays off. I went through a lot in the ring tonight, as any fighter does. I hurt my hand. I got hit with a headbutt that almost closed my eye. But I overcame it all. I got what it takes. I can hang in there with the top guys. Give me a couple more fights and I’ll be ready for anybody.”
Adorno of Allentown, Pennsylvania, appeared on his way to an easy victory when he dropped Roldan of Argentina to end the second round on a counter-left hook at the bell. But Roldan’s aggressive, herkie-jerky style appeared to confound and frustrate Adorno in the second half of the fight. Roldan’s motor never decelerated. He was like a slingshot hurtling out of the corner to start each round as Adorno, a skilled counterpuncher, did his best to repel Roldan’s bull rushes.
After showboating and doing a little dance in the ring after stunning Roldan with a right hand to end the fourth, Adorno settled down and relied on his slick boxing skills and the occasional power shot to emerge with the narrow win. As the fight ended, both fighters displayed the badges of their efforts: Roldan’s left eye was nearly swollen shut while Adorno had deep swelling under his left eye but a smile in victory.
“You learn a lot from a fight like this,” Adorno said. “In boxing, you’re going to face guys with different styles. Not everybody is going to be the same. Weird guys like Roldan make you look ugly. But you have to get through it, listen to your corner and adjust. That’s what we did tonight. He came out with that aggressive style because he knew he had to throw a lot of punches to win the fight. I understand that. He’s not a power-puncher so he had to throw punches to have a chance. I’m just glad we got the victory.”