Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Delvin Rodriguez: Back Home in Connecticut and on ESPN

By Thomas Gerbasi

With this being his fifth bout at the Mohegan Sun Casino in his adopted home state of Connecticut and 15th appearance on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights, Delvin Rodriguez’ match with unbeaten George “Comanche Boy” Tahdooahnippah is as close as you’re going to get to a home game in the world of boxing. But after seeing the good, the bad, and the ugly of the sport over the course of his 14 year pro career, Rodriguez knows that nothing’s ever a given.

“For me, it comes down to what happens inside the ring,” said the 32-year-old junior middleweight contender. “And the most important things that happen outside the ring are your training and how mentally prepared you are.”

It’s a wise approach to take to this unpredictable game, but at the same time, knowing the lay of the land in the lead-up to the fight and being familiar with the ESPN crew and the way things play out before the bell rings can be an advantage for someone who has done it 14 times before, especially when facing a fighter who is in that main event national television spotlight for the first time.

“Of course it makes it more comfortable for me because I know the staff and I know most of the crew,” said Rodriguez. “But I don’t look past any fighter because this is boxing. This guy’s a strong guy that comes forward and I saw him taking guys out with one punch. But it does make me more comfortable because I feel like I’m back home, I’m with the ESPN crew, and I’ve known them for years.

“I’m very grateful that ESPN likes to put me on their show,” he continues. “Because of them, I’ve been noticed, and I believe that’s the first step for a boxer to get to the top. You’ve got to go through ESPN. Having me on the show and always considering me for it is a great thing. Right now I’m in a situation where I’ve gotta bounce back and show the people that I still have a lot to give to the sport, and ESPN is the best way to do it.”

There’s really no surprise as to why Rodriguez has been a network favorite. An action fighter who is never afraid to get into a war, the Dominican Republic native is as close to a sure thing that you can get when it comes to compelling fights. At the same time, that reputation made his last bout, a 12 round loss to current WBA champ Austin Trout such a shocker. Far from an action-packed bout, Rodriguez never seemed to get out of first gear against Trout, with a clear-cut unanimous decision defeat being the result.

“Styles make fights, and it was a very uncomfortable fight for me, as well as for him,” said Rodriguez. “He’s a very awkward lefty with good defense, and we just couldn’t find each other’s rhythm. It became a boring fight. I was trying to really get in, but he was on the lookout to catch me with something and I believe that’s the mistake that I made. I should have taken more risks, I should have pushed in more and took a punch or two to get in. I was looking and waiting for that precise moment that never came.”

The assessment of his second world title fight (he lost a 12 round split decision to Isaac Hlatshwayo in a welterweight title opportunity in 2009) is an honest one, and while there are no moral victories for Rodriguez, Trout’s subsequent victory over Miguel Cotto six months later did prove that the champ from New Mexico is the real deal.

“I thought a lot of people were going to be surprised,” said Rodriguez of Trout-Cotto. “Cotto’s much shorter than me, and I knew he was gonna get caught a lot coming in. Trout has quick feet, so he was leaving Cotto off-balance all the time and catching him. It showed how uncomfortable it is to fight this kid.”

Rodriguez should have such difficulties with Tahdooahnippah, who will most likely be right in his face from the opening bell. What difficulties “Comanche Boy” does present are mainly in the unknowns. Yes, he’s 31-0-1 with 23 knockouts, but is his record due to his talent or his level competition? And at 34, has his team waited too long to put him in with a fighter of Rodriguez’ caliber. Those are all questions to be answered on fight night, so in the meantime, Rodriguez is going by what video clips he’s been able to find on his opponent.

“I’ve seen some clips that they have on Youtube, and from what I can see he’s a guy who is very confident right now because the guys he’s been fighting, he hits them one time and that’s it, they quit,” said Rodriguez. “I believe he’s gonna come straightforward and he’s gonna be surprised when he runs into one of my punches. But I’ve still got to be alert in the ring because he is the bigger guy – he’s been fighting 160 his whole career pretty much, and I just came up to 154 three fights ago.”

In those three fights, Rodriguez has gotten plenty of attention, engaging in a Fight of the Year draw with Pawel Wolak in July of 2011, clearly outboxing Wolak in their December 2011 rematch, and then losing his title shot against Trout. Yet despite the 1-1-1 record at 154 pounds, Rodriguez has built up enough of a name that when it was suggested that he come back slowly after the Trout fight, he vetoed such a suggestion.

“I was ready to fight; I just wanted to get the right fight to get back,” he said. “They were talking about giving me a warm-up fight and I didn’t want that. I’ve been fighting good guys and tough guys, and I don’t need a warm-up fight. I’m to the point where I’ve got to do what I gotta do, otherwise I’ll stop fighting. I feel like I still have three to four solid years in the sport, and I need to take advantage of that. So it makes no sense for me to take warm-up fights. I don’t want to go backward, I want to go forward. This guy (Tahdooahnippah) came up, he’s undefeated, and there’s a lot of noise behind him, so we want to take fights that will take us to the next step.”

And he believes with a big win on Friday night in front of ESPN’s viewing audience, it will make his return to the title picture something that happens sooner rather than later.

“I’m looking to get right back into the mix with this fight, and by the beginning of next year, to be in line for a world title once again.”

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by davidw9785 on 02-14-2013

Yeah this Comanche guy is gonna get his world rocked. I don't know anything about Comanche man, but I see Delvin taking a small step back and knocking this guy out with one right hand! Or a big left hook...…

Comment by paulf on 02-13-2013

Delvin is one of my favorite dogs. Fifteen times on FNF? That's what's up. He beat Hlatshwayo and Theophan. Tahdooahnippah is from Oklahoma and I have love for the guy, but Devlin should handle him the same way he handled…

Comment by .:: JSFD26 ::. on 02-13-2013

He's too damn inconsistent for anyone to like him truthfully. [SIZE="1"][I]Posted from Boxingscene.com App for Android[/I][/SIZE]

Comment by torosboxing75 on 02-13-2013

This is sad to not see any comments on this article, I think Delvin has done more than many others who get way more attention, and Delvin deserves all our respect and support.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (4)
Top Headlines Daniel Franco Training, Set To Return on March 23 in LA Canelo is Confident That He Can Put Chavez Jr. To Sleep Video: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Discusses Canelo, Weight, More Photos: Lucian Bute, Eleider Alvarez - Go Face To Face at Presser Canelo: Mayweather-McGregor Would Be a Black Eye For Boxing De La Hoya: Canelo-Chavez Will Be a War - There is No Favorite Orlando Salido Being Considered for Canelo-Chavez Co-Feature Rey Vargas vs. Gavin McDonnell To Be Carried By KlowdTV Photos: Canelo, Chavez Jr. - Go Face To Face in New York City Floyd Mayweather Plans Big 40th Birthday Bash in California Garcia On Dad's Tirade: Free Speech, He Can Say What He Wants De La Hoya: GGG Can Fight Canelo or Keep Making What He Makes! Pacquiao's Adviser Aims To Finalize Fight, Venue By Next Week Lee Selby To Return On Haye-Bellew, Will Face Andoni Gago Photos: Caleb Plant Putting in Work For Ring Return Otto Wallin Very Excited To Headline Hometown Card on April 22 Frank Buglioni Injured In Sparring, Out Of Ricky Summers Defence Photos: Gennady Golovkin in Top Form, Putting in Work For Jacobs Caleb Plant on Sparring George Groves, Future Plans Bellew Warns Haye: Try Something - I'll Smack Your F***ing Face! Wilder: Would've Been 'Stupid' to Face a 'Killer' in This Fight Lomachenko: I'll Be No. 1 P4P Once I Beat Two Lightweight Champs Hughie Fury’s Trainer: He Must Rip Title Away From Joseph Parker Frank Buglioni Joins Matchroom Ahead Of March 4 Return Andy Townend, With 3/4 Win, To Face Jon Kays For Commonwealth Danny Garcia: I'm a More Patient, Balanced Fighter Than Thurman Jacobs Feels Golovkin's Hype is Built on Calculated Matchmaking Deontay Wilder, Defense Aside, Has Far Bigger Targets For 2017 Arum: Reports of Pacquiao vs. Khan Deal is Complete Bullsh*t! Roach: I Won't Count McGregor Out in Mayweather Fight Photos: Miguel Flores vs. Dat Nguyen - Official PBC on FS1 Weigh-In Christian Montano Inks Managerial Pact With Cameron Dunkin De La Hoya Expects Canelo vs. Chavez To Break 1 Million PPV Buys Canelo: Rivalry is Legit, Chavez Jr. Said A lot of Things About Me Jose Uzcategui vs. Andre Dirrell IBF Eliminator in Play Chavez: They Say Canelo is The Best, A Win Opens Many Doors Chocolatito Focused on Improving Defense, Speed in Camp Photos: Canelo, Chavez Jr. - Go Face To Face in Mexico City Lomachenko 'A Little Disappointed' He's Not Fighting Salido Next Sergey Lipinets To Return on Thurman vs. Garcia Undercard
Advertisement
Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement