The smile on Josette “No Joke” Rodriguez’s face is back.
Coming off a discouraging loss by knockout last summer which was the first of her pro career, the Mercedes female boxer and mother of three young sons rebounded with a decisive win on the Ultimate Fight Night undercard Feb. 25 in Pharr.
Rodriguez (4-1, two KOs) prevailed against Allison Martinez of Houston on a four-round unanimous decision (40-35, 40-35, 40-35) in a matchup of light welterweights. As serious and determined as she was in the ring with her game face on, “JoJo” was all smiles afterward.
“It was a very satisfying fight because I felt I showed a lot of improvement,” said Rodriguez, whose husband, Abran Barrientes, is in her corner for fights as her trainer. “There were a lot of things I worked on. I kept my composure. I practiced that because it takes a lot of practice (to make it work in the ring).
“I knew Allison was going to come out strong,” Rodriguez added. “She had lost her last fight as well against a very good fighter, so I knew she was going to come out determined to fight hard, and she did. Allison is one tough girl and she proved that. For me to win against her was extremely satisfying.”
Added Barrientes, “‘JoJo’ is super excited (now).”
The Mercedes fighter said she took some shortcuts getting ready for her previous fight, which wound up costing her a win. This time she took a more thorough approach with her preparations by adding a strength and conditioning coach (Ubaldo Pena of Iron Faith Gym) plus a dieting coach (Arnold Cavasos of Extreme Nutrition).
“This win was hands down a team effort,” she said. “Words can’t describe how it feels to come back after a loss like the one I faced (last July 15 in Brownsville). Before this (Feb. 25) fight, I told myself, ‘You put in the work, the miles, the sparring and the dieting — you’re ready!’ The previous fight I was one pound over (the weight limit) and this time I was one pound under.”
The victory has Rodriguez feeling good again about her boxing career and looking ahead to bigger fights in the future. She could possibly fight again April 22 on the next Extreme Fight Night show in Pharr.
“I want to keep going, get better and be the best,” she said.
Extreme Fight Night returns to the Golazo Soccer facility in Pharr on April 22. It’s presented by Texas Rage and South Texas Fighting Academy. For more information, call (956) 456-5786 or (956) 460-7808.
“Noche de Campeones II” boxing show presented by Silver Promotions is scheduled April 22 at Boggus Ford Events Center in Pharr. The event is set to feature the return of Harlingen’s Juan “J.P.” De La Rosa plus a rematch between Weslaco’s Jose Prado and Mexico City’s Shoki Sakai. For more information, call (956) 206-9543, (956) 456-9081, (956) 463-5524 or (956) 618-4363.
The STFC 42 mixed martial arts cage fighting show is scheduled May 19 at McAllen Convention Center. For more information, call (956) 414-8698 or (956) 562-2622.