Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Edwin Rodriguez Feels His Big Moment is Finally Here

By Francisco Salazar

Edwin Rodriguez has talked a good game so far.

He’s unbeaten, has power in both hands, and is extremely confident going into his 12 round fight against Andre Ward this Saturday night at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, CA.

Is he talking a good game thus far or does he really believe he will be the first fighter to give Ward his first defeat as a pro?

Only Rodriguez could answer that question. Actions speak louder than words if he is able to back up his talk in the ring on Saturday night.

If you look at what he has accomplished so far, maybe it will be hard to believe Rodriguez.

He is unbeaten, but he has not had a career-defining victory thus far. Although he does hit hard, maybe the knockouts came against less than modest competition.

Most importantly, is his confidence masking questions and doubts he may have going up against a solid fighter in Ward?

Rodriguez is unbeaten for a reason. Let us give credit for that. When he speaks, it is from the heart and his confidence is genuine. He believes he will have his hand raised in victory in the ring on Saturday night.

He is not some puncher who hopes to land one punch and win by knockout. He was an amateur standout, winning a number of titles before turning pro in January of 2008.
Through the trials and tribulations in his career and the hard work he has put in for this fight, he is ready for Saturday night.

“I’ll be at my best to beat him,” Rodriguez told a small group of reporters at a recent sit-down. “I’m a 12-round fighter and I’m not just focused on going for the knockout. I can’t afford to have a bad night.”

“I know he (Ward) is really good at what he does. He’s smart. But I’ve done my homework. I have more motivation for this fight than I’ve had for any fight before. I know that I haven’t been in this position before but I’ll be at my best.”

The Dominican-born Rodriguez (24-0, 16 KOs), who resides in Worcester, MA, has fought twice outside of the United States after appearing twice on HBO in 2012.
Earlier this year, Rodriguez defeated Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna on March 30th by unanimous decision and scored a first round knockout over Denis Grachev on July 13th. Both fights were in Monaco.

The excitement of fighting in the United States in over a year has been something Rodriguez has looked forward to.

“I have a lot of motivation to come in and win this fight.”

Even the motivation or game plan Rodriguez is planning for Ward will not be enough, in the minds of a majority of boxing writers and fight fans. Some wonder if Rodriguez’s claims of VADA testing were something to throw Ward off.

It is not, according to Lou DiBella, who promotes Rodriguez. An adamant supporter of VADA, Rodriguez has been open to being tested at any time. Rodriguez was disappointed Ward did not follow suit for this fight.

“The whole VADA thing was brought up in passing during negotiations, but it was not a stipulation,” DiBella said over the phone on Thursday. “It’s not a huge issue. Since VADA was sponsoring the fight and paying for testing, we thought Ward would have ample time to do testing. He chose not to.”

“It’s a personal issue for Edwin and I’m proud of him for that.”

While Rodriguez has dealt with detractors who think he may not win on Saturday night, no one would question his mental toughness.

He has had to deal with personal setbacks years ago that included his twins being born almost four months prematurely. The twins were diagnosed with cerebral palsy, which was something Rodriguez and his wife Stephanie had to deal with economically and emotionally.

While the twins are healthy as could be, Rodriguez has been able to build off of seeing his twins get stronger with each passing day.

Which probably explains why Rodriguez has been able to build and capitalize on the success he has had in recent months, especially in the Grachez fight, where boxing experts gave Rodriguez a small chance of winning.

“I’m just encouraged at seeing what my kids have done in the last seven years.”

Rodriguez may hear the critics give him little chance to defeat Ward on Saturday. Then again, the same could be said of doctors and physicians who may have not given his kids much of a chance to survive.

However, just as his children proved some doubters wrong, he is eager to do the same. What a victory it would be for Rodriguez to pull off the upset against the recognized linear world champion at 168 pounds.

Rodriguez is eager to make it happen.

“I want to be the best I could be. Ward is the best at 168 pounds and he did things to be recognized. Now I want to be great. I have to be the best. I’m coming to win.”
“I’m a winner.”

Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. He also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper, Knockout Nation, and for Ring TV. He could be reached by email at [email protected] or on twitter at FSalazarBoxing.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by MDPopescu on 11-15-2013

Rodriguez is not an issue into this fight. Ward is. We all want to watch the "brand new" Ward!

Comment by parrish duke on 11-15-2013

Man - the (Boston - Mass) / Connecticut / Providence area is a hotbed for Boxing Talent - rich history from contenders to champs.

Comment by WilkinsOlajuwon on 11-15-2013

Lets hope that after beating a guy big enough for 175 that Ward moves up and makes some interesting matchups.

Comment by Adamjr91 on 11-15-2013

I really can't see this fight being competitive. Poor Rodriguez, he's pretty good but Ward is going to make him look like a club fighter.

Comment by dc3383 on 11-15-2013

If he wins people will blame Al Haymon

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (7)
Top Headlines Klitschko Not Ruling Out Joshua Mentally 'Crumbling Like a Cookie' Porter Questions Thurman's Commitment to Fighting Him Next Broner: Me and Terence Crawford Will Be a Future PPV Fight Anthony Joshua Vows To Stay Calm, Not Go Into Mike Tyson Mode Hearn: Quigg vs. Simion Winner Could Face Lee Selby Next David Benavidez Talks Golovkin Sparring, Medina, Yildirim, More Kevin Lerena To Face Maxim Maslov For IBO Title on August 12 Wladimir Klitschko: Hopefully I Have a Couple of Years Left in Me Bellew: Being Heavyweight Champion is a Realistic Possibility Now! Saunders on Khurtsidze: Puffed Up Danny DeVito Never Beats Me! Joshua vs. Klitschko: Who's Winning the Battle of the Preparation? Nacho Wants Chavez To Use Lara, Mayweather Tactics on Canelo Shakur Stevenson and The Making of The Next Black Superstar Vitali Klitschko Confident Wladimir Will Topple Joshua at Wembley Porter's Coach: 1000% We Can Beat Keith Thurman in Rematch! Martin Murray vs. Gabe Rosado - CompuBox Punch Stats Shawn Porter vs. Andre Berto - CompuBox Punch Stats Imre Szello Stops Toth To Retain WBO Regional Belt in Hungary Pacquiao Aims To Make Statement, Prove He's Still in Top Form Breazeale Ready To Replace Fury - Fight Parker on Late Notice Broner: Somebody Tried to Kill Me, But It's OK; I’m Still Here Pacquiao: I Don't Know Much About Horn, Haven't Seen His Fights Murray on Gabe Rosado's Complaints: I Won The Fight, F*** Him! Team Parker: Hughie Fury Never Wanted To Come To New Zealand Klitschko: Joshua Wants To Be a Billionaire, Must KO Me as Promised Team Fury: Hughie Suffered Lower Back Injury, Not Medically Fit Amir Khan To Keith Thurman: Forget Porter, Fight Me! Kazuto Ioka Shines To Retain WBA Belt, Tapales Wins By TKO Billy Joe Saunders Not Impressed, Vows To Expose Khurtsidze Photos: Oscar Valdez Beats Miguel Marriaga in a Grueling War Photos: Jermell Charlo With BRUTAL Knockout of Charles Hatley Photos: Martin Murray, Gabe Rosado Nearly Brawl Over Scores Photos: Shawn Porter Drops, Mauls Andre Berto For TKO Win Photos: Avtandil Khurtsidze Crushes Tommy Langford in Five Photos: Arthur Abraham Defeats Krasniqi To Secure WBO Shot Billy Joe Saunders vs. Avtandil Khurtsidze on July 8, Copper Box Kevin Lerena vs. Sergio Ramirez at Emperors Palace Anthony Joshua Sees No Reason To Fight in U.S. To Raise Profile Gilberto Ramirez Ready For Golovkin Next: Just Send The Contract! Jermell Charlo: Jarrett Hurd Took My Brother's Title - We Can Unify
Advertisement
Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement