MONTREAL - Aging junior-middleweights Delvin Rodriguez and Joachim Alcine will get to fight again another day.
The pair battled to a draw over 10 clench-filled rounds on Friday night at Montreal's Olympic Stadium.
Judge Jack Woodburn saw things for the hometown fighter Alcine with a 96-94 scorecard while Benoit Roussel scored the action for the visiting Rodriguez, 97-93. Judge Pasquale Procopio scored things even at 95-95.
"We upset the apple cart just a little bit," said trainer Buddy McGirt, who reunited with Alcine for the first time since 2009 when he guided the Haitian born fighter to a pair of victories. "I'm happy with the draw, I don't think they could have called it any other way. It was close. All we had to do with this fight was keep it basic, use the jab"
Rodriguez, who was coming off a three destruction at the hands of former champion Miguel Cotto, maintained he won the fight but thought that his own performance could have been better. "Coming back I was tight in there, really tight. I couldn't get my combinations going in there like I usually do. But I still believe I won the fight cleanly. He never caught me with a clean punch and was never able to hurt me."
The bout often resembled exactly what was, two fighters on the back-nine of their careers, often sloppy, filled with lots of holding and ordered breaks from referee Michael Griffin.
Alcine (35-7-2) was at his best when working his jab but only occasionally was he able to follow it up with anything significant. The former world champion was a long way from his glory days of 2007 where he held the WBA championship belt at 154 pounds. The Montreal fighter who now calls California home once again kept his best for the crowd of approximately 1,500 who were clearly on his side.
It is the second time Alcine has been brought in as an opponent, and the second time he has surprised. In 2011 he was brought in as fodder for middleweight hopeful David Lemieux who was coming off his first career loss. Alcine shocked the Lemieux and the world with a majority decision in their 12 round bout.
Instead of reviving his career, Alcine proceeded to lose his next five fights.
At 38, Alcine was supposed to have been the perfect tonic for Rodriguez (28-7-4) who fallen against Cotto and in his shot at the 154-pound crown in 2012 versus Austin Trout.
"We were brought in to lose," said McGirt, glad of the effort his fighter put in.
"It was a frustrating fight, anytime I got close to the guy, he kept on grabbing me," said Rodriguez. "I'm sure when I get back home and watch the fight, I'll see I clearly won it."
Alcine predictably also thought he was on the winning side.
"This was not the right decision for this fight, The guy is young," said the former champ of his 34 year-old opponent. All the eyes are on him and for them, I'm old. I think for next time, there won't be any doubt, I will win by knockout. No doubt."