Edwin Rodriguez: Climbing the Ladder!
By Peter Heintzelman & Trish Kilcullen - Worcester, Massachusetts is in for a treat next Thursday, June 24th, when their hometown boxing hero returns to the beautiful Mechanics Hall, headlining ďBroadway Boxing.Ē Featuring Undefeated hometown prospect Edwin Rodriguez, the fight card that should pack the house.
With an undefeated record of 15 wins with 11 knockouts, Rodriguez has sky-rocketed into the super middleweight division, that motivated top promoter, Lou DiBella, of New York Cityís DiBella Entertainment, to sign ďLa BombaĒ to a professional contract in March of last year.
Shortly after signing his contract with DiBella last year, and under the continued tutelage of famed trainer, Peter Manfredo, Sr, and the solid management of Larry Army, Jr., Edwin sealed the deal with a second round knockout of Patrick Thompson at Worcesterís Mechanics Hall, on Main Street . DiBella was so pleased with the enthusiastic turnout of fans, that he promised a return to Worcester, and with Rodriguez as the headliner.
And so it was said. And so it is done.
Edwin has kept up his end of the bargain, delivering to DiBella Entertainment, since signing on the dotted line, winning five more consecutive fights, in impressive style, and catching the eye of national television broadcasters, who have televised his performances across the country..
DiBella has fulfilled his promise to bring the All-Star back to his hometown for yet another showdown with 29 year old, Gabriel ďHurricaneĒ Holguin, of Laredo, Texas, who brings to the table a professional record of 25-8-0.
The goal of Team Rodriguez: to get a title shot in the super middleweight division within the next twelve months. Plan your Work, and Work your Plan.
Manfredo Boxing Gym, of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, along with DiBella Management, represented by Alex Dombroff, hosted an open workout this week, to promote next Thursdayís fight. After his vigorous workout with Manfredo, we had the opportunity to catch up with the likeable Rodriguez for a pre-fight interview:
Q: It was not long ago, that we covered your pro debut in Mansfield, MA (Jan 26, 2008), youíve come a long way in a short time. What have been the worst of times, and what have been the best of times?
Rodriguez: The worst time has been searching for a good promoter, and it reduces a big pressure on me to have signed with DiBella. Happy to be with that. Iím in a good place.
The best times have been my last couple of fights knocking opponents out with body shots. Itís a good feeling to see your opponent on the floor. They know whatís going on, but they just canít get up, and itís a good feeling. !
Q: How do you feel physically and emotionally? Is Worcester going to see the best of you come June 24th?
Rodriguez: Oh, definitely. Every fight I I keep working hard, and I keep improving. Itís back to my hometown. Itís great to fight there, because thatís where my family and friends are from, so I look for an impressive victory.
Q: Where have you been working out lately, besides Manfredoís Gym in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and with whom have you been sparring?
Rodriguez: Iíve been working out at Gilrein in Worcester; its close to my home, and I come down here (Manfredoís ) regularly. I spar with Jesse Brinkley and Peter Manfredo, Jr., who just won a world title, so I have the best training, and I keep learning from both guys.
Q: A world champ has recently been crowned right out of this gym in Pawtucket, namely Peter Manfredo, Jr. How has his success and perseverance motivated you, and does it make you feel you are in the right hands and at the right place?
Rodriguez: Oh, definitely, Iíve seen Peter come out of here, works extremely hard, heís a good kid; we do good sparring. I look up to Peter, he works hard, and he did it. He accomplished something that I want to accomplish; thatís my goal. Iím happy for Peter for becoming a world champion. And thatís my goal. He accomplished something that I want to achieve: A world title.
Q: What is it about your trainer, Peter Manfredo Sr, that keeps you coming back for more?
Rodriguez: He has the knowledge. Heís been in this game for so long, and is one of the top guys, so we try to get a piece of that. He has handled many top guys; he has the knowledge, Matt Godfrey, Jason Estrada, Peter Manfredo, Jr., Jesse Brinkley; so I try and get a piece of that.
Q: Have your two nationally broadcast fights affected your perception of your place in the super middleweight division?
Rodriguez: No, not really; Iíve been working hard since day one. I had a good two last fights with ESPN and Showtime, with two knock outs. And we keep working to climb up the ladder. We are where we want to be, just working hard
Q: Gabriel Holguin - What do you know of him and what do you expect his game plan will be in Worcester? What strengths and weaknesses do you see?
Rodriguez: Heís a Mexican, so he is coming to fight. He will keep coming forward, but I am used to that. Most of my opponents - they just come forward. Iíve got a good plan for that, which you will see .
Q: How would a win against Holguin affect your opportunities for a title fight?
Rodriguez: Hey, I, I think Iím ready for a USA title. You know, I think in a year ,Iím ready for a world title, and Iím ready for a national title, but itís up to my promoter and manager, Iíll leave that for them to handle.
Q: DiBella Entertainment signed you to a contract in Worcester, and you were given the opportunity to fight under the DiBella Banner first in Worcester, where you soundly floored Patrick Thompson. Lou DiBella publicly committed to you, and to the City of Worcester, that you and he would be back! How does it feel to be fighting again back in Worcester, and what do you have to say about Lou DiBella, as a person and a promoter?
Rodriguez: Well, he is a great person and a great promoter, and like he said, I would be back, and he kept his promise, and Iím back in my hometown fighting again. I couldnít be in a better place. It was one of the best moves of my career, to sign with DiBella, and I couldnít be in a better place.
Q: Any prediction about your June 24th Worcester fight?
Rodriguez: Knock out! People want to see a knock out Iím not going to be looking for the knockout, but Ií trying to set it up. If my opponent doesnít think so - he better think twice.
Q: Any message you want to broadcast now to the contenders in the super middleweight division?
Rodriguez: Iím coming!
Q: Any final comments to your fans across the world?
Rodriguez: Thank you for your support. I love you guys. Keep supporting me back home.
In the co-feature, junior lightweight Ryan ďThe Polish PrinceĒ Kielczewski (7-0, 2 KOís) of Quincy, MA, and heavyweight Rashad Minor (3-1, 3 KOís) of Worcester will also see action, along with fast rising light heavyweight Isiah Thomas (6-0, 4 KOs) out of Detroit, Michigan.
Thomas (6-0, 4 KOs), 21, has been groomed for success from a young age when, as an amateur, Emmanuel Steward deemed him a future world champion. Although not still coached by the famed Steward, Thomas has had nothing but success in the pros. In 2009, after stating his career 3-0, Thomas signed with DiBella Entertainment.
Tickets for Broadway Boxing at Mechanics Hall are available at mechanicshall.org or by calling the Mechanics Hall box office at (508) 752-0888. Prices are $155 for VIP Ringside, $80 for Front Row Balcony, $60 for Floor Seats and $40 for Balcony Seats.
Article posted on 18.06.2010
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