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 Andrew Selby in Line For Daigo Higa With WBC Eliminator Win Joshua-Klitschko II: There Will Be HBO, Showtime Collaberation Shane Mosley Has To Pay Ex-Wife 75K in Defamation Lawsuit Photos: Orlando Salido vs. Aristides Perez - Official Weights Conlan May Get Step-Up Foe on Pacquiao-Horn, Says Macklin Groves vs. Chudinov To Be Streamed on Facebook, Youtube Francisco Vargas Had Surgery on Eyebrows, Wants November Date Ward-Kovalev Rematch: NSAC Has Assigned Three American Judges Mayweather: I Can't Overlook McGregor, Only Lost on The Ground! Cotto vs. Kamegai, Berchelt vs. Miura Picked By BoxNation Brook To Spence: You've Got To Take It, Rip it Out of My Hands Spence: It’s Time to Shut Up, Glove Up & Go to War With Brook Kermit Cintron vs. Tyrone Brunson Set For June 24th Kell Brook vs. Errol Spence - Extra Security Measures in Place Photos: Kell Brook, Errol Spence - Ripped and Ready For War! Warren Admits: If Saunders is Not 100%, Khurtsidze Will Beat Him Joe Smith's Promoter on LA Return, Possibility of Monaghan Bout Salido Returns, Looks Forward To Vasyl Lomachenko Rematch Kell Brook Weighs in at 146½ ; Errol Spence Comes in at 146¼ Abel Sanchez: Golovkin-Canelo Should 'Revive Our Industry' George Groves Thought Hard Before Fully Trusting McGuigan Brook: I Want Spence To Taste Every Bit of That Sugar in There! Hank Lundy is Gunning For Terry Flanagan, Robert Easter Fortune Calms Down Pacquiao Fans, Says No Reason To Panic Mike Tyson Explains Where His Money Went in Historic Career Kell Brook: When I Beat Spence - I'm The Man, Number One at 147 Malignaggi Breaks Down Why Brook-Spence Will Be Special Fight Photos: Hatton Pays Tribute To Victims of Manchester Tragedy Cotto: Marquez Has To Get Things Done or Keep His Mouth Shut! Johsua Return To Be Revealed in 3-4 Weeks, Likely Klitschko Oscar Valdez To Fight in Summer and Then The Fall, Says Arum Egis Kavaliauskas, Alex Saucedo - Both Eager For Bigger Things Photos: Orlando Salido vs. Aristides Perez - Final Press Conference James DeGale: Let's Make This Clear - Badou Jack is a P*ssy! Photos: Michael Conlan, Saucedo, Mike Alvarado - Official Weights WBA Turns Back on Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor Fight N'Dam-Murata, Barthelemy-Relikh Rematches Ordered By WBA Kell Brook Predicts Thriller, Knockdowns By Him & Errol Spence De La Hoya to Boxing Fans: Don’t Support Mayweather-McGregor Adrien Broner-Mikey Garcia in Works for 7/29 at Barclays Center
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement