By Keith Idec
There’s not much Delvin Rodriguez doesn’t like about his upcoming rematch with Pawel Wolak.
He’ll make six figures for the 10-round junior middleweight fight Dec. 3. He’ll get great exposure in an HBO Pay-Per-View undercard bout beneath a well-publicized main event between Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito. And his highly anticipated brawl with Wolak will take place at Madison Square Garden, where most fighters dream of competing at least once in their careers.
The only thing that worries Rodriguez as the rematch nears is judging. The New York State Athletic Commission hasn’t assigned judges to the fight just yet, but settling for a majority draw with Wolak on July 15 at Roseland Ballroom in New York has increased Rodriguez’s sensitivity to scoring.
“The judges always concern me, just because of the way things have gone in my career,” said Rodriguez (25-5-3, 14 KOs), of Danbury, Conn. “I have at least three or four fights I believe that I clearly won, and I didn’t get the decision. So judges always concern me. It’s a concern where, when you’re waiting at the end of the fight for the decision, it makes it more nerve-racking.”
One judge, Tom Schreck, scored Rodriguez the winner of his first fight against Wolak, a 10-rounder that was widely considered a very close fight. The two remaining judges — Julie Lederman and Steve Weisfeld — scored it even (95-95).
“I believe I landed the most accurate punches, hardest punches, better combinations,” Rodriguez said. “It showed in his face at the end of the fight.”
The surreal swelling surrounding Wolak’s right eye was what made the Polish-born boxer finishing their fight most impressive. In addition to targeting Wolak’s right eye again, Rodriguez realizes a knockout win would eliminate any doubts about the scores.
The 30-year-old Wolak (29-1-1, 19 KOs), of Rockaway, N.J., has never been stopped, though.
“I’m not a fighter who’s going to go in there dumb, looking for the knockout,” Rodriguez said. “But I believe if I have the slightest little chance I can [knock him out], I’m going to go for it.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for the Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com.