Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Rodriguez Had Tough Sparring For Andre Ward Challenge

By Peter Lim

For the last three weeks, all four corners of the Plex Gym boxing ring in Stafford, on the outskirts of Houston, were occupied by undefeated prizefighters. It was the final stretch of Edwin Rodriguez' training camp, with Ronnie Shields as ringmaster, in preparation for Rodriguez' world title challenge against Andre Ward later tonight.
 
Shields decided that two boxers and a banger was the right mix of sparring partners for Rodriguez (24-0, 16 KOs) to deal with Ward's frustrating, rhythm-killing mode of combat. Slick stylists Jonathan Nelson (18-0, 8 KOs) and Lamar Russ (14-0, 7 KOs) alongside power slugger Medzhid Bektemirov (13-0, 10 KOs) were recruited to trade punches with Rodriguez.
 
"We've got a game plan to make him work, just like he likes to make you work," Shields said. "We'll use that against him."
 
As always, Shields declined to reveal any specifics about that game plan.
 
While Ward, 29, has been inactive for 14 months due to a shoulder injury, Rodriguez, 28, has accumulated steady momentum against some very solid contenders over the last few years. He won a high-profile, four-man tournament in Monte Carlo earlier this year. But he will pay no heed to the ring rust factor and assume Ward will show up in tiptop condition.
 
"Forget Andre Ward. I've just got to be worried about what I'm going to do to win the fight," Rodriguez said. "I'm undefeated just like he's undefeated. He's got to figure me out as much as I've got to figure him out."
 
Having beaten elites the likes of Carl Froch, Chad Dawson, Mikkel Kessler and Arthur Abraham, Ward is ranked among the top five best pound-for-pound fighters. But despite being the underdog, Rodriguez' trio of sparring partners seem to think he has a better chance of defeating Ward than the oddsmakers give him credit for.
 
"Edwin brings a lot of pressure to the table and does a lot of punching, so that's a good advantage for him," Nelson said.
 
"I think Edwin can win and I wish him all the best," said Bektemirov through a Russian translator.
 
"Andre Ward's got a lot of speed but I've got just as much speed as he does, and Edwin's adapted to it," Russ said. "It's going to be a very interesting fight."
 
The sparring sessions have been a symbiotic arrangement since all three partners had upcoming fights scheduled.
 
On Thursday, Bektemirov stopped William Johnson (10-33-3, 3 KOs) in the third round in Houston.
 
Nelson faces yet another undefeated, Brandon Gonzalez (17-0, 10 KOs) on the Ward-Rodriguez undercard.
 
And Russ, stepping in as a replacement for injured Willie Nelson, faces Mathew Macklin (29-5, 20 KOs) in Atlantic City on Dec. 7.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by flint on 11-16-2013

easy work for WARD. even coming of a long lay off. still easy work

Comment by MDPopescu on 11-16-2013

Eventually, are they going to fight tonight or not?

Comment by Golovkin on 11-16-2013

[QUOTE=ricky1978;13935012]I like both fighters, but will like Rodriguez to win..... War Rodriguez!!!![/QUOTE] **** yes! Hehe. WAR LA BOMBA!! :boxing:

Comment by ricky1978 on 11-16-2013

I like both fighters, but will like Rodriguez to win..... War Rodriguez!!!!

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (4)
Top Headlines Golovkin's Coach: Options Lacking at 168, No Reason To Move Up Cleverly Hungry To Relive The Dream of Being World Champion Parker Stops Dimitrenko In Three, Retains Mandatory Slot Frank Warren: Show in Cardiff Keeps Getting Bigger and Better Carl Froch, Johnny Nelson Split on Braehmer-Cleverly Outcome Anthony Mundine Seriously Considering a Future in Politics Joseph Parker Aims To Make a Big Statement With Dimitrenko Braehmer-Cleverly: Five Years Later, Yet Right On Time Peter Quillin Starts Rebuilding Career - With Virgil Hunter! Mikkel Kessler Expects Big Things From His Protege Khattab Joseph Parker Compares Younger Brother To 'Little Mike Tyson' Erik Ruiz Shocks Hanzel Martinez, John Vera Blasts Out Zizic Arum: De La Hoya is Like a Momma in How He Protects Canelo! Upset Alert: Dominguez Stops Payasito Hernandez In Four Petrov Batters Perez For TKO, in Line For Linares-Crolla Winner Mike Lee Drops, Outworks Chris Traietti To Grab Clear Decision Mike Towell Dies From Injuries in Knockout Loss To Dale Evans Joseph Parker's Promoter: Andy Ruiz on Board With The Fight Mauricio Herrera vs. Pablo Cesar Cano on November 18 WBO, WBA Keeping Close Eye on Tyson Fury Cocaine Scandal AIBA Developing Anti-Betting Program For Boxers Photos: Humberto Soto, Daniel Ruiz Prepared For Mexican War Klitschko's Manager: Fury is Most Unworthy Champion in History! Ed Brown, Alejandro Hernandez Ready For Respective Bouts Manny Pacquiao: No Reason To Apologize For Past Drug Use Kovalev, Bellew Backing Cleverly To Overcome Braehmer Nehomar Cermeno's Win Opens The Door For Scott Quigg Clash Peralta Leaves Cab at Home, Heads To Miami With New Coach Photos: Joseph Parker, Alexander Dimitrenko - Ready For War Petrov Talks Linares-Crolla, Promises Fireworks With Perez Tyson Fury Tests Positive For Cocaine! Titles in Jeopardy! Braehmer, Cleverly Make Weight For Long Awaited Clash Mundine Wants To Boycott National Anthem, Eyes Politics Stephen A. Smith on Why Mayweather-Pacquiao 2 is Possible Golovkin's Coach: Ward Fight Impossible - He Couldn't Make 168! Telemundo Weights: Hernandez 122, Dominguez 121 Parker Sees Benefits of Fighting in UK Prior To Joshua Showdown Mike Lee: We've Built Up To This, I'm Ready For It, I'm Excited Bradley: There Are Levels; Vargas Will Find Out Against Pacquiao Billy Joe Saunders vs. Artur Akavov Set For October 22
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement