By Ryan Maquiñana
After a delightfully—and surprisingly—explosive war broke out between unbeaten super middleweights Edwin Rodriguez and Will Rosinsky, the announcement of a 100-90 shutout across the board for Rodriguez didn’t sit too well with those who saw the fight, both at home on Showtime and live at the Foxwoods Resort in Connecticut.
One of those spectators was Larry Army, Rodriguez’s manager, who spoke to BoxingScene about his thoughts on the competitive brawl, as well as if it will affect their desire to take on former undisputed middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik next.
ON THE CONTROVERSIAL SCORING:
“I don’t think anybody in the world thought it was a shutout including us. I had it seven rounds to three. You could make an argument for 8-2 or 6-4. I could see that. I thought Edwin won the first four rounds pretty consistently. I thought he took the 10th, and the sixth and seventh were close, but I thought he stole those, too.”
ON ROSINSKY’S REACTION TO THE DECISION:
“At the press conference after the fight, Will said, ‘I lost the fight. I didn’t do enough to win the fight, but I didn’t get shut out.’ But look, whether it’s 6-4, 7-3, or 10-0, it’s a loss. Edwin said the same thing. He said, ‘Look, I did enough to win, but I didn’t shut him out.’ ”
ON THE UNDERDOG ROSINSKY’S SURPRISING PERFORMANCE:
“I think that’s an unfair statement. This is a guy who won a national title in a heavier weight class than Edwin in the amateurs. I don’t think he’s gotten a lot of respect of the quality of his opposition as a pro, but that’s the way the business is.
“We put Edwin in early. For his eighth or ninth fight, Darnell Boone? Who would do that? I think the experience was the difference, and the fact that Edwin had been on national TV five times, whereas this was Will’s first time.
“Will’s always had a tremendous jab, and if people had seen more of Will Rosinsky, they wouldn’t have been saying this was a mismatch from the beginning. The kid proved that in the ring.”
ON A POSSIBLE REMATCH:
“I don’t know the answer to that. I don’t know what a rematch does for us. I know what it does for him, but I don’t see what it does for us. The kid is a really tough kid, and if you’re going to have any kind of longevity in boxing, you can’t go through wars like that every day.
“I don’t think if we did it again, the fight would be much different. I think it would be another incredibly entertaining fight, no doubt about hat. Down the road, if it’s a main event or co-main event on HBO or Showtime, and there ‘s some real money there, we’d do it again. It was fun. It was nerve-wracking, but it was fun.” (Laughs)
ON HOW THE FIGHT STACKS UP WITH OTHER SHOBOX AND PAY-PER-VIEW SCRAPS:
“It was probably one of the best ShoBox cards in the last three or five years. [ShoBox executive producer] Gordon Hall came in the locker room afterwards. There were a couple promoters in there in the locker room, and none of them ever remember him coming into a locker room saying it was an epic battle, and that it made him proud and the network proud.
“Look at the pay-per-view bullsh*t that’s on TV today. The fans got that fight for free. It was better than any of the pay-per-view this year, period. Both athletes came out of that without any injuries. They looked like they went through hell, but bumps and bruises are considered injuries in our sport. I’m just thankful that neither of them got hurt. The real winners were the people who paid tickets to watch it and those who watched it on Showtime at home.”
ON THE MAKEUP OF THE EVENT ITSELF:
“It was electric out there with that crowd atmosphere. I don’t know if you were able to see it at home, but there were several brawls after the fight ended. But for that fight, everyone in the room gave those kids a standing ovation.
“When’s the last time you saw a fight end like that, with the exception being maybe Ortiz-Berto or Wolak-Rodriguez this year? That was a special fight. That was boxing the way it was meant to be.
“You got to give Joe Quiambao of DiBella Entertainment a hell of a lot of credit for putting the fight together and matching them and Lou DiBella for putting up the money to make a fight like this happen.
“We needed that fight where Edwin would find out what exactly he’s made of. Against Aaron Pryor Jr. he found out he had the ability to fight through injury. We found out here that when he gets hit, that he’s going to fight through that at all costs. This is one of the things that will make him a world champion in the future.”
ON RODRIGUEZ’S LONG-RUN DURABILITY AFTER TAKING SEVERAL POWER PUNCHES FLUSH:
“Everyone says Edwin’s going to get hurt. They say Edwin gets hit too much. That’s who he is. But you’re going to have to kill Edwin to knock him out. And you have give Rosinsky credit. He took some monster shots from Edwin and kept going. You’re never going to eliminate that from him because he’s always going to want to test himself.”
ON RODRIGUEZ’S NEXT FIGHT:
“I was told after the fight that Edwin would get an ESPN date on January 6 and Rosinsky a date on ShoBox. Edwin learned a lot in that fight. He implemented the gameplan Ronnie Shields had for him. He turned his punches over. He showed a lot of head movement, something he’s really improved on. At one point he threw a six-punch combination off the jab.
“But at the end of the day, after the fourth or fifth round, they looked at each other and said, ‘F**k it.’ They went toe-to-toe, and said, ‘Let’s see who’s the bigger man.’ Look, it doesn’t make for a long career. It doesn’t make for a great fighter. But it makes for a great fight. And you had two people who would beat 90 percent of the guys in their weight class, with under 20 wins, putting their undefeated records on the line."
ON PURSUING KELLY PAVLIK:
“Realistically, I don’t see that fight being made until the summer. [Pavlik’s trainer] Jack Loew was in the audience, and I think if the money’s right, we’ll do it. By that time, we’re going to see Edwin have a lot more time with Ronnie to work on everything else and continue to improve.”
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.