Joseph Adorno had his most successful night in years Friday night.
The former amateur standout, who went 0-1-2 in consecutives 135-pound fights in 2020 and last year, defeated Hugo Roldan by a close unanimous decision at 140 at Bally’s Event Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
It was the 23-year-old’s first victory in a scheduled 10-round bout.
Adorno (17-1-2, 14 KOs) played the matador to Roldan’s bull, waiting for the aggressive, sometimes-wild Argentine to attack and then countering.
Joseph Adorno didn’t hold back in celebrating his victory over Hugo Roldan. Stephanie Trapp / Showtime
He did that particularly well in the first half of the fight, when he connected on one left hook after another to stun Roldan (21-1-1, 7 KOs) a few times and build a lead on the scorecards.
Adorno’s biggest round was the second, when he scored a flash knockdown with a left hand moments before the bell rang.
However, the tough, determined Roldan rallied down the stretch, outworking a less active Adorno to climb back into the fight and leave the outcome in doubt.
And, indeed, the scoring was close. All three judges scored it 95-94, meaning the knockdown was the difference in result.
Adorno drew with Hector Montes and Jamaine Ortiz and then suffered his only career loss in his biggest fight, a wide decision against talented Michel Rivera this past March.
He rebounded to stop two journeymen in scheduled six-round fights — his first at 140 — after the setback but needed a more significant victory to get back on track.
He got it on Friday even though it wasn’t as dominating as he would’ve liked to be.
He now is in position to get another significant fight, although it’s not clear whether it will be at 140 — where he might be giving away some power — or 135.