The Theater at MGM National Harbor was on fire! Jose Benavidez Jr., Gabriel Maestre and Gary Antuanne Russell set the stage for the main event with three consecutive wins by way of stoppage. Headlining the night of championship boxing, Melvin Lopez and Emmanuel Rodriguez entered the ring with the hopes of winning the IBF Bantamweight Championship. In the blue corner, Rodriguez had his sights set on retaining a title he once held. In the red corner, Melvin Lopez hoped to become the only active fighter from Nicaragua to win a world title. At the end of the night, only one man could achieve their ultimate goal.
Emmanuel Rodriguez was the heavy favorite heading into the vacant title fight and he was able to live up to the hype. In spite of massive swelling above his eye, the Puerto Rican fighter punished Lopez time and time again by landing 50% of his power punches and nearly 45% of his body shots. In the 12th round, he punctuated his performance with not one, not two, but three knockdowns. Lopez was able to beat the count each time, but all three judges scored the bout 120-105 in favor of Rodriguez.
— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) August 13, 2023