By Mitch Abramson
Delvin Rodriguez didn’t hesitate when answering the question, and he doesn’t plan on hesitating in the ring when it comes to targeting a certain orbital area of his opponent, either. Rodriguez plans on going after the right eye of Pawel Wolak in their much-anticipated rematch at junior middleweight on Dec. 3 at Madison Square Garden. That’s the same eye that swelled up to almost frightening proportions the first time they fought on July 15 that ended with a crowd-pleasing majority decision draw.
“Definitely,” Rodriguez told BoxingScene, when asked if he would be taking aim of Wolak’s right eye. “We know that he’s going to cut easy because coming out of a fight just three months ago, that tissue is still hurt, still damaged, so I know if he gets hit a couple times, it’s going to start showing right away. And we definitely are going for that. I have a tendency to cut my opponents, and we’re not going to stop practicing that. We’re definitely going to go for that, you know?”
There was a time when the possibility of the rematch happening didn’t seem likely. Wolak was calling for a title shot while dismissing calls to fight Rodriguez in his next fight. But circumstances changed when a fight fell out of the Dec. 3 undercard of Cotto-Margarito, opening back up the channels of communications between Top Rank, which promotes Wolak, and Joe DeGuardia, who works with Rodriguez.
“I’m very happy,” Rodriguez said of the rematch. “First it was going to happen, then it wasn’t going to happen, then I finally got the call that it’s going to happen. I’m very excited. This is the fight that fans were asking for, that boxing needs nowadays. It was a very exciting first fight and I believe the rematch is going to be as good, and maybe even better than the first fight.”
Rodriguez remains confident that he will be able to deal with Wolak’s straight-ahead, pressurized style. He’s also convinced that he will be the more versatile fighter in the ring on Dec. 3.
“He only has one way,” Rodriguez said of Wolak’s style. “I know that this time, he’s going to really fly in. And when that happens, he can probably run into some really hard punches so anything can happen in this fight. This is a fight that fans will not be able to predict. The only way that I know that he knows how to fight is by coming forward. And the only thing that I think that he can do differently is to put more pressure. What else can he do? I wish that he would try to box but I know he’s not going to try to do that.”
Beyond the styles, Rodriguez expects the rematch to be nearly a carbon copy of the first fight, with non-stop action. He doesn’t think the grueling nature of the first fight will sap the rematch of any of its potential for action.
“He knows what I’m bringing to the table, I know what he’s bringing to the table,” Rodriguez said. “We both know as fighters that we need to be in the best shape of our careers. We have to be more prepared than ever, so that can only make for a good fight. These two styles coming together- they can only make for a really good fight. I know this guy- he’s nonstop but so am I.”