By Rick Reeno
Super middleweight contender Edwin Rodriguez (24-0, 16KOs) told BoxingScene.com that he refuses to accept what he believes is an unfair offer for a potential fall fight with WBA super middleweight champion Andre Ward (26-0, 14KOs).
Rodriguez beieves Ward's back is against the wall in terms of options. HBO has rejected several potenial opponents that were presented by Ward's handlers. Rodriguez is coming off his biggest payday, which took place in Monte Carlo in July. He picked up $600,000 in a four man tournament, after knocking out Denis Grachev in the first round.
"My manager Al Haymon was working with Andre Ward's team and they were unable to come to an agreement. He's the best guy in my weight class, and if I don't get him next then I'll fight him down the road, Rodriguez said to BoxingScene.com.
"I'm 100% sure that he needs me more than I need him. I have other options. I'm the highest rated for the WBC, Sakio Bika is the champion and he's an Al Haymon fighter. If the Ward fight doesn't happen, the second option would be the winner of Bika and Anthony Dirrell - if that fight happens. I'm not going to allow Andre Ward to dictate a single thing just because he could."
While an offer of $800,000 sounds like a lot of money, Rodriguez explains that HBO is putting over $3 million on the table, and Ward also wants to retain the full gate among other sources of revenue. While the $800,000 would be Rodriguez's biggest career payday, the 28-year-old fighter wants the financial terms to be a little more flexible in his favor - considering he would lose his WBC ranking by facing Ward for the WBA title.
"$800,000 sounds like a lot of money and it is, but when you look at the big picture and HBO is putting up over $3 million, and not talking about the gate and everything else that he's going to be keeping, then it's not a lot of money and it's not fair," Rodriguez said.