by David P. Greisman
Edwin Rodriguez is looking to follow the best performance of his career with the biggest opportunities available.
Rodriguez, 28, knocked down Denis Grachev twice on July 13 en route to a first-round technical knockout win. That victory brought his record to 24-0 with 16 knockouts and, he feels, got him closer to a shot at the top fighters in the super middleweight division.
“I’m ready for Andre Ward right now,” he said on a July 17 web chat hosted on ESPN.com. “I have to meet up with my promoter in the next few weeks and see what he has in store for me. That's the fight we want because he's the champ. You have to take those fights.”
Rodriguez’s promoter, Lou DiBella, was less in favor of that fight being made immediately.
“Andre Ward is the gold standard. If I were to throw in a terrific young guy like Edwin, still on the learning curve, it would be foolish now,” DiBella wrote on Twitter shortly after Rodriguez beat Grachev.
What DiBella liked, though, was the idea of Rodriguez facing beltholder Carl Froch, among other potential opponents.
Said Rodriguez: “There are a lot of big names in the division. All guys that I want to get into the ring with. I'm hoping to get a fight for a world title this year. It's full of talent and good matchups for me.”
He said he cannot drop down to middleweight. And given that he weighed in at just under 172 pounds for the Grachev fight, a move to light heavyweight could come in the future.
“I'll fight somebody from 175 at 175. So if someone from  wants to fight me, we can do it at 168,” Rodriguez said.
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter @fightingwords2 or send questions/comments via email at firstname.lastname@example.org