By Ryan Maquiñana
BoxingScene caught up with Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez (19-0, 14 KOs) and his manager Larry Army mere hours before his “ShoBox: The New Generation” headliner against Will Rosinsky (14-0, 8 KOs).
Here’s what the unbeaten 26-year-old super middleweight contender (WBC #6/IBF #5/WBA #8) and his manager had to say about his second fight with trainer Ronnie Shields, his history in the amateurs with Rosinsky, and the direction of his career should the native of Worcester, Mass., pull out another victory tonight. (Weights: Rodriguez 171, Rosinsky 171)
RODRIGUEZ ON HIS SECOND TRAINING CAMP WITH RONNIE SHIELDS:
“I feel great. I had another very good training camp in Texas with Ronnie Shields. Working with him is different than with anyone else. Everything is scheduled from swimming, or strength, or sparring.”
RODRIGUEZ ON HIS FRIENDSHIP WITH ROSINSKY:
“Me and Will were very good friends in the amateur ranks. We would travel together to different countries were roommates in China. I had considered him a friend. But this is a business, and they wanted to fight me, so I want to show them they made a bad business move.
“It was harder to take the fight because he was a friend but now that the fight is made, it’s on. Inside the ring, there is no friends. This guy’s trying to take my head off, and I’m going to try to do the same before he does that to me.”
RODRIGUEZ ON MATCHING UP WITH ROSINSKY:
“It’s a whole different ballgame from the amateurs, but we know each other so well. Then again, it’s going to be four years since we haven’t seen each other, so we’re both different fighters now.”
RODRIGUEZ ON HAVING TO MAKE A STATEMENT ON PREMIUM CABLE:
“A knockout is always good, but I’m more concerned with fighting my fight and doing what I got to do to come up with a win. I’ll be able to do that with my style being able to pick him apart. Me and Ronnie have a specific gameplan for Will to cause some damage. I sparred two undefeated fighters and Cornelius White, who has one loss, so I got some very good sparring.”
RODRIGUEZ ON THE IMPACT OF A WIN TONIGHT:
“This fight is huge. Basically we’re looking to be fighting top 10 guys after this. I’m right there, but first I have to take care of business with Will, and that’s all I’m thinking about.”
ARMY ON BRINGING IN RONNIE SHIELDS:
“I think Ronnie’s made a lot of fundamental changes with the way Edwin turns his punches over and throws straight punches. It’s been a huge difference.”
ARMY ON RODRIGUEZ’S LAST WIN OVER CHRIS TRAIETTI, RODRIGUEZ’S FIRST FIGHT BACK SINCE INJURING HIS SHOULDER AGAINST AARON PRYOR JR.:
“We chose Traietti because he was a tough fighter. He’s a tough kid. He was Special Forces in Iraq or Afghanistan I believe, not sure, but we knew Edwin would be a better boxer and better puncher. We didn’t think Traietti had the power to hurt Edwin. And about the shoulder, it was 100 percent and showed that it could hold up.”
ARMY ON ROSINSKY’S QUALITY OF OPPOSITION LEADING UP TO TONIGHT:
“You look at Danny Jacobs, Fernando Guerrero, Shawn Porter. Rosinsky’s fought the same fighters that at same level. I don’t look at who he’s fought as a pro to judge where he is. He’s a warrior, and he comes to fight, but I think they made a mistake picking Edwin.”
ARMY ON THE FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN RODRIGUEZ AND ROSINSKY:
“I don’t know where they stand now, but if I thought it was going to be a problem, I wouldn’t let him take the fight. Edwin has a beautiful wife and two children to feed, and Will is trying to take the groceries out of his cart, so I have no doubt Edwin will do what it takes to win.”
ARMY ON THE POTENTIAL ROAD AFTER ROSINSKY:
“We’re not looking past Rosinsky, but we would love to fight Kelly Pavlik, and you can print that. We think that he has something to prove, so if we can get on a comeback fight, we feel like the style matches up well for us. We don’t give up much as far as height or too much on reach.
“I think it’s a fight we can win. Who wouldn’t want Kelly Pavlik on their resume, who beat Jermain Taylor twice, and that’s the guy who beat Hopkins? The guy who beats Pavlik will be in line for a big payday. Let’s see who he fights next, and if it’s a live body.”
ARMY ON WHY IT’S INCONSEQUENTIAL WHETHER PAVLIK’S OFF-RING PROBLEMS WOULD MAKE SUCH A FIGHT TENUOUS AT BEST:
“If he doesn’t show up, his career is over. He can’t screw around again, so he has to be serious. So if he doesn’t end up fighting, it still works out for us. Edwin gets the benefit of working with Ronnie Shields for another two months, and the network will cover training expenses and give us some great sparring. It’s a win-win.”
Ryan Maquiñana is the boxing correspondent at Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America, and Ring Magazine’s Ratings Advisory Panel. E-mail him at [email protected] , check out his blog at www.maqdown.com or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.