by David P. Greisman
Edwin Rodriguez (20-0 with 14 knockouts) is just weeks removed from his latest win, a unanimous decision victory on Oct. 21 over Will Rosinsky on “ShoBox: The New Generation.”
Much of the talk that followed Rodriguez-Rosinsky was about the scorecards. All three judges had the bout a shutout for Rodriguez. Everyone else, including Rodriguez himself, thought the fight was closer than the 100-90 scorecards indicated.
Rodriguez is looking to move beyond his last fight, however, and on to what’s next. In this interview, the 26-year-old super middleweight from Worcester, Mass., reflects on the Rosinsky bout before turning his attention to which fighters he’d like to face and how close he thinks he is to a title shot.
BoxingScene.com: What are your thoughts on the Rosinsky fight?
Rodriguez: “It was a very good fight. My opponent kept coming forward, so he made the fight a bit close. The judges gave a unanimous decision to me, which I do agree on. I knew I won the fight, but I definitely thought it was closer than that.
“I would like to say to my last opponent, Will Rosinsky, to stop being a punk, basically. He knows he lost the fight. Take it as it is. Let’s just have the fight be what it was. It was a great fight with a lot of good rounds, a close fight, but it was a fight that I won. I say seven to three. Stop crying robbery. You already admitted that you lost the fight. What is the point of trying to come back and act like, ‘Aw, I got robbed.’ Come on, man.”
BoxingScene.com: So what do you want to do now?
Rodriguez: “Right now I’m just looking forward to being with my family and getting back to fighting a top 10 guy and going for a world title. You know, I feel like I have fought a lot of prospects and I feel like I’m ready to be fighting somebody with a big name. I’m ready to go for it.”
BoxingScene.com: Are there any names you have in mind?
Rodriguez: “Not really. I’d like to fight Kelly Pavlik, Allan Green, somebody that is known, and definitely one of the top 10 guys. But the division is so deep and with so many good fighters there now, that it doesn’t really matter who. It’s one of the toughest divisions right now. It’s a good division to be in. There’s a lot of choices. I believe that by fighting somebody with a big name, that’s how I’m going to get my name out there as well.”
BoxingScene.com: How many fights away do you think you are from a title shot?
Rodriguez: “Maybe two fights.”
BoxingScene.com: That’s not very far away. Are there things you feel you need to fine tune between now and then?
Rodriguez: “Definitely. There’s always room for improvement. It’s been three years, almost four years since I turned professional. And every fight there’s something else I need to work on, get better, fix. You know, work on my jab, use my jab a little bit more. Work on my defense. I still need to be a little more defensive minded. There’s always room for improvement.”
BoxingScene.com: You’ve been on “ShoBox,” but what do you need to do to get the attention of HBO or to get on “Showtime Championship Boxing”?
Rodriguez: “I’ve had good fights on “ShoBox.” Every one of my fights have been entertaining, so I think I probably have gotten their attention, because I’m a fan-friendly type of fighter. I’m a boxer-puncher-brawler. That’s what people like to see. I’d like to think that I have gotten their attention. Hopefully soon I’ll get the phone call.”
BoxingScene.com: What is training in Texas with Ronnie Shields bringing to your game?
Rodriguez: “This was my second fight with Ronnie. He’s a very good trainer. He has been in the boxing game for such a long time. He was a fighter himself. Not just as a trainer, but Ronnie’s just a very good guy, period.
“Me having a good relationship with Ronnie is bringing out the best out of me. It’s only my second fight with him, so I have a lot of room to improve, a lot of things that we’re working on that I’m starting to realize I’m getting a little bit better at. But not having enough time, I still got more room to improve.
“Every fight I feel like I’m getting better under the tutelage of Ronnie Shields. I’m happy about going to the gym and having that one-to-one attention and being taught by somebody who is one of the few teachers left in the boxing game.”
BoxingScene.com: But now that you’re with Ronnie Shields, you have to leave your family behind, right?
Rodriguez: “Right now I’ll be going away for eight weeks’ training camp. It’s really tough leaving my family here and watching my kids grow up through pictures, basically. Me and Danny O’Connor [a junior welterweight from Framingham, Mass.], he also came down with me to train with Ronnie. We’re basically at an apartment together. It’s a struggle, and we miss our families, but we’re trying to get to the next level. At the end of the day, it’ll be well worth it.
“I go back to training camp after Thanksgiving. I don’t have anything scheduled right now. I always like to be in the gym, but I’m not in full training camp yet.”
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter at twitter.com/fightingwords2 or on Facebook at facebook.com/fightingwordsboxing, or send questions and comments to [email protected]