By Francisco Salazar

Francisco Rodriguez is hoping the success he had as a strawweight will transfer over to the loaded junior bantamweight division.

Rodriguez broke down and stopped Pablo Carrillo in the fourth round late Saturday night before a crowd of over 7,500 at the Lienzo Charro in Saltillo, Coahullia, Mexico. With the win, Rodriguez won a regional title belt.

Rodriguez (27-4-1, 19 knockouts), who won a world title belt at 105 pounds in 2014, utilized his height and reach to keep Carrillo at the end of his punches. Rodriguez initiated exchanges against Carrillo, who is originally from Valledupar, Colombia, but currently resides in Osaka, Japan.

A counter right hand by Rodriguez to the head about a minute into the fourth round staggered Carrillo, sending him reeling across the ring with his back to the ropes. Carrillo grabbed onto Rodriguez, resulting in both fighters losing their balance and falling onto the canvas.

Rodriguez went after Carrillo after the action resumed, throwing and landing as Carrillo attempted to hold on again. Referee Sergio Hernandez saw enough and waved the fight over at 1:54.

"Carrillo was a solid opponent and came forward," said Rodriguez, who is promoted by Promociones del Pueblo. "I demonstrated I could be aggressive, but I could also box. I want the bigger fights. I've been winning and doing so impressively

The 24-year-old Rodriguez has won his last eight bouts after losing two decisions in 2015 to Donnie Nietes and Moises Fuentes. Rodriguez is ranked in the top 10 in three sanctioning bodies at 112 pounds, although his last five bouts, including Saturday's, have been fought as a junior bantamweight.

"I believe Francisco is ready to face Juan Francisco Estrada, Naoya Inoue, all those fighters at 115 pounds," said promoter Oswaldo Kuchle. "He will now be ranked by the WBC after (Saturday's) win."

Flyweight contender Lourdes Juarez (23-2, 3 KOs) won a one-sided eight round unanimous decision over 18-year-old Linda Contreras (1-3, 1 KO). Scores were 80-72, 79-73, and 78-74 for Juarez, who resides in Mexico City.

Welterweight Alejandro Davila (17-0-2, 6 KOs) of Mexico City stopped Dario Ferman (15-5, 12 KOs) at 2:20 of round six when Ferman could not continue because of a hurt right hand.

Francisco A. Salazar has written for since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. He can be reached by email at or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing