By Mike Coppinger
Edwin Rodriguez (24-0, 16KOs) is considered a sizeable underdog heading into Saturday's HBO bout with Andre Ward (26-0, 14KOs), but he's not acting like a man facing long odds.
The athletic puncher clearly has a chip on his shoulder and expressed supreme confidence at Wednesday's final news conference in Ontario, Calif.
"I respect Andre Ward," Rodriguez said. "I think he's a good fighter. He has accomplished a lot in the sport of boxing, winning the tournament in the Super Six. But, at the same time, I don't respect him either. I'm ready to get in there and punch that guy in the face. Come November 16th, I will do just that."
Rodriguez is undefeated and Saturday marks his first world title opportunity. Ward, the lineal super middleweight champion, will be fighting for the first time in 14 months.
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