Edwin Rodriguez: ďI do feel like this is the fight thatís going to take me to the next level where Iíll be able to fight any of the top ten guysĒ
by Geoffrey Ciani (Exclusive Interview by Jenna J & Geoffrey Ciani) - This weekís 147th edition of On the Ropes Boxing Radio (brought to you by CWH Promotions) featured an exclusive interview with super middleweight contender Edwin Rodriguez (19-0, 14 KOs) who is slated to fight fellow undefeated boxer Will Rosinsky (14-0, 8 KOs) tonight in a bout that will be televised on Showtime. Edwin spoke about his upcoming fight, and also shared his views on other matters pertaining to the 168 pound landscape including upcoming fights between Andre Ward and Carl Froch as well as Lucian Bute versus Glen Johnson. Be sure to tune in tonight and watch this battle of unbeaten prospects! Here is a complete transcript from the Rodriguez interview:
Article posted on 21.10.2011
JENNA J: We are joined by our second guest of this weekís show. He is making his third appearance to On the Ropes. We are joined by super middleweight contender Edwin Rodriguez. How is everything going today, Edwin?
EDWIN RODRIGUEZ: Iím doing very good. Thank you for having me.
JENNA: Alright well Edwin you got a pretty big fight coming up on Showtimeís Shobox against Will Rosinsky. Heís an undefeated guy. Youíre undefeated. How do you feel about this matchup?
RODRIGUEZ: I feel very good. I know Will very well. Heís a very good fighter. I think itís going to be a treat for the fans to watch two undefeated guys going at it.
JENNA: Alright now for yourself and at this point in your career, how big of a fight is this? I mean is this the fight that tells people youíre for real, youíre no longer a prospect, and youíre ready to really be a contender at this point?
RODRIGUEZ: Definitely. This fightís huge. Iím fighting another undefeated prospect. Itís a big fight for both of us. I do feel like this is the fight thatís going to take me to the next level where Iíll be able to fight any of the top ten guys.
JENNA: Alright now this is actually the first undefeated fighter youíve fought. Someoneís ď0Ē has to go. What do you think youíre going to have to do in the ring to keep your ď0Ē?
RODRIGUEZ: You know, keep my head and do what I got to do to win. Heís undefeated Iím undefeated. I just got to break his will and come out with a ďWĒ.
JENNA: Alright now Edwin, youíve been fighting for a long time consistently at 168, but do you ever think because of the fact youíve done it for most of your career at this point that maybe you would have more success if you were to drop down to 160?
RODRIGUEZ: I think that 168 is the right weight for me. I feel very strong at 168. Thatís the weight that me and my team have chosen to go for a world title. This is a tough fight, so Iím 100% focused on Will Rosinsky and 168 is my weight.
JENNA: Alright well speaking of 168, itís one of the most talented rich divisions out there. How do you think you would fare with some of the top guys that are out at this weight class now?
RODRIGUEZ: I think Iím ready. I think Iím ready for one of the top ten guys now. I know that Iím working with Ronnie Shields who is a very good trainer and teacher of the game, and Iím extremely confident that Iím ready to take on any of the top ten guys.
JENNA: Now you mentioned Ronnie Shields. What has he worked with on you as a fighter that you think might have improved you right now?
RODRIGUEZ: Iíve been working on my defense and staying mentally a little bit more defensive than I was before. Iím still going to be very entertaining and Iím going to throw a lot of punches still, but at the same time Iím going to be a little bit more mentally focused on not getting hit as well.
JENNA: Alright, well Edwin weíre also on the line with my Co-Host Geoff.
GEOFFREY CIANI: Hey Edwin. Itís a great pleasure to have you back on the show.
JENNA: Thank you. Iím very happy to be back.
CIANI: Now you mentioned in the beginning of the interview here that you were familiar with your opponent Rosinsky. Iím wondering if you could tell the fans out there what type of game plan you are expecting him to bring to the table and what kind of fights fans can expect to play out in this one?
RODRIGUEZ: You know I canít really say what heís going to be bringing to the table. I do know how he fights. He fights with a lot of determination. He keeps coming forward. I do feel like heís going to try to box, but as soon as he gets hit heís going to go back to his old self. Itís going to be a good fight. Itís going to be a war.
CIANI: Now going back to what you said about the things that you and Ronnie Shields have been working on. If fans are expecting you to make a statement in this fight, considering you said you were working on your defense and focus more, can they expect that statement to be more of a tactical statement on your part?
RODRIGUEZ: A little bit. I mean Iím just an all around fighter. Iím a boxer, puncher, brawler, so Iím just going to give him everything and confuse him and do whatever it takes to take his ď0Ē.
CIANI: Now Edwin, you said that 168 is the weight for you, what does it mean to be in a division that right now these past two years, as youíre kind of in the transition from prospect into contender to be in a division thatís creating so much buzz and excitement amongst boxing fans?
RODRIGUEZ: Oh, it feels very good. Itís one of the toughest divisions right now. There are a lot of great fighters there, so itís a good way for me to fight one of them and make a name for myself. Definitely this is the division to be in today for boxing. I mean itís tough, but if you have the goods this is the division to be in.
CIANI: Now letís talk about the upcoming Super Six Final matchup. Iím just curious to get your view. Itís been pushed back until December. It was originally supposed to be at the end of this month, but what are your thoughts on the final matchup between Andre Ward and Carl Froch?
RODRIGUEZ: Oh! What a matchup! These are two guys who have fought the best and beat the best. I got to go for Carl Froch because I personally know him, but Andre Ward is a very good fighter. He knows how to win and he knows how to adapt to whatever his opponent brings to the table, so that makes him very dangerous. But I do feel that Carl Froch has too much power, and heís proven that he could box as well as brawl, so I got to take Carl Froch in this fight by a close unanimous decision.
CIANI: Okay Edwin, Iím also curious to get your views on another upcoming fight. This one involves Lucian Bute and long time veteran Glen Johnson. What do you think of that one given the fact that a lot of people are still high on Bute even though he wasnít in the Super Six?
RODRIGUEZ: I think that Buteís style of fighting is a perfect match to be fighting a fighter like Glen Johnson, because Glen Johnson has a lot of heart and heís always going to try and give it 100%. But I definitely feel like Bute is going to take a unanimous decision.
JENNA: Alright now Edwin you mentioned before that you were friends with Carl Froch. Iím just curious for the fans listening out there, how did you two meet?
RODRIGUEZ: I was at training camp with Carl Froch for the fight against Arthur Abraham.
JENNA: Alright so when you were working with him in camp, what did you learn about his game and somewhere down the line if the opportunity was there, would you even consider fighting him since he is your friend?
RODRIGUEZ: Yeah, why not, but at the same time that would only be if it was a last resort for winning a title. You know Iím very good friends with Carl, and I wish him the best in his career. If that happened to happen then let it be, but Iím not pushing for it.
JENNA: Okay will all the big names at 168, in your opinion right now, who do you think should be considered the best based on what theyíve accomplished?
RODRIGUEZ: I think that the most accomplished guys at 168 pounds are Andre Ward and Carl Froch, and I think the winner of that will be the king of the division.
JENNA: Okay well I just have a couple of more questions before I let you off the line, and back to your fight with Will Rosinsky. What thing do you think in your game is going to be the most important for you to be successful?
RODRIGUEZ: You know just staying focused and not letting Will get into the fight, and just do the things that me and Ronnie have been working on, and sticking to my game plan and taking his will away.
JENNA: Okay and finally a prediction for the fight? How do you see it playing out as an official result?
RODRIGUEZ: You know Will is a very tough opponent. He works very hard. I see myself beating him in a very tough fight by unanimous decision.
JENNA: Okay and finally, are there any shout outs you want to give to anyone out there?
RODRIGUEZ: I just want to thank all of the fans and everybody that has been keeping track of my career, much love and appreciation!
JENNA: Alright well Edwin itís been a pleasure having you back on the show. We wish you the best of luck!
RODRIGUEZ: Thank you very much. It was a pleasure being on your show.
CIANI: Thank you, Edwin. Best of luck.
RODRIGUEZ: Thank you buddy! Have a good one.
CIANI: You too.
For those interested in listening to the Edwin Rodriguez interview in its entirety, it begins approximately forty minutes into the program.
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