A chance for Elvis Rodriguez to plead to his case as 2020 Prospect of the Year will have to end with what he has already accomplished.
The red hot junior welterweight bout was forced to withdraw from Saturday’s show at The Bubble at MGM Grand in Las Vegas after testing positive for COVID-19. Dominican Republic’s Rodriguez (10-0-1, 10KOs) was due to face Lawrence James Fryers (11-3, 4KOs) on ESPN+ ahead of the three-fight main card on ESPN headlined by Shakur Stevenson (14-0, 8KOs) versus Toka Kahn Clary (28-2, 19KOs).
“Unfortunately, I will not be fighting today my last COVID-19 test came out positive,” Rodriguez revealed through his social media channels on Saturday afternoon. “I feel good without any symptoms so far and I hope to continue like this.”
Rodriguez became a breakout star from Top Rank’s bubble in Las Vegas, having fought on site four times since July. All four fights ended inside of three rounds, to go with a career-long 6th round knockout in February to begin his 2020 campaign.
The Freddie Roach-trained knockout artist was a late addition to Saturday’s card after Top Rank’s matchmakers were finally able to land on Fryers, a 30-year old Irish southpaw based out of Yonkers, New York. Both boxers easily made weight at Friday’s official pre-fight weigh-in with Rodriguez weighing146½ pounds and Fryers checking in at 145½ pounds.
In the 24 hours that have since passed, came the bad news of Rodriguez having to wait until 2021 to make his way back into the ring.
“Thanking God very much why despite this it was a great year for my career,” noted Rodriguez, who has scored eight straight knockouts since a headbutt-induced technical draw in his third pro fight last June. “See you next year—we ]will] come back stronger.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox