Promoter Felix "Tutico" Zabala, Jr. knew he had a gold mine in his hands the moment he brought Sammy Valentin over to the All Star Boxing, Inc. family.
That was much was proven in the 22-year old's first-ever televised main event. The moment didn't last very long, as Valentin needed just 70 seconds to tear through Mexico's Jesus Rodriguez in front of a Standing Room Only crowd Friday evening at A La Carte Pavilion in Tampa, Florida.
The locally-based boxer of Puerto Rican descent had been showcased on the Boxeo Telemundo circuit five times prior to headlining Friday evening's telecast, which marked the series' spring season finale. His entire pro career has taken place in the Central Florida region, with all but two pro bouts to date taking place in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area. His adoring fans jam-packed the intimate ballroom which manages to produce sold-out crowds every time it has hosted a Telemundo telecast.
Still, there was a special feeling to this event, one designed as a breakout party for Valentin. Little time was wasted in making his mark, going on the attack as Rodriguez (15-2, 11KOs) was quickly reminded of his intended role as sacraficial lamb.
The lone knockdown of the contest came barely a minute into the contest, with a hailstorm of punches from Valentin forcing his opponent to the canvas. Rodriguez managed to beat the count, but might as well have remained on the deck as he never convinced the referee that he was in any condition to continue. The bout was stopped without another punch being thrown, with the official time coming at 1:10 of round one.
Valentin improves to 12-0 (9KO) and will likely enjoy a similar TV showcase during the Boxeo Telemundo summer season.