PITTSBURGH, PA — Rod Salka got the last word over rival Monty Meza Clay with a literal blood and guts, 10-round unanimous decision win last night at the CONSOL Energy Center.
Salka put his foe on notice at the opening bell with a 1-2 that knocked Meza Clay back into a corner. From there, Salka set a high-paced tone for the battle by unleashing constant authoritative jabs and slashing counter rights. His offense paid dividends early in the second when Clay got a bad cut over his left eye.
To Meza Clay’s credit, he never stopped his pressure and started to make headway in the fourth by opening a pouring cut over Salka’s left eye. Meza Clay’s body work allowed him to stay competitive until the final round, but Salka quick combination punching kept him one step ahead, as reflected in the unanimous scores of 99-91, 98-92 and 97-94.
The buildup to the bout featured Meza Clay deriding Salka’s abilities. He mockingly questioned why Salka was still fighting following his devastating second round KO loss to Danny Garcia in August. Earlier this week, Meza Clay threatened Salka outside the ring during a local news appearance.
Salka improves to 20-4-1 (3 KOs) while Meza Clay falls to 36-4 (22 KOs). Going into the bout, Meza Clay was ranked #15 at lightweight by the WBC.