Boxing


Delvin Rodriguez-Pawel Wolak II - No Thriller But A Clear Winner

By James Slater: Back in July, on ESPN’s Friday Night fights, light-middleweights Delvin Rodriguez and Pawel Wolak put on an unforgettable war of a fight; a fight so good it may win this year’s FOTY award. The fight ended up being scored a draw not too many fans could argue too strongly over, but the action was so scintillating (not to mention gruesome, with Wolak’s right eye ending up looking like a balloon!) that a return was a must.

Last night, on that amazingly-stacked card at Madison Sqaure Garden - topped of course by Miguel Cotto’s brilliant revenge win over archrival Antonio Margarito - fans got the rematch. Not a classic like the first meeting but by no means a dull fight either, Rodriguez-Wolak II produced a clear, dominant winner. Classy boxer Rodriguez, now 26-5-3(14), proved to be way too good for intense pressure fighter Wolak, now 29-2-1(19).

Fighting out of a crouch, the fast-handed 31-year-old was way too quick, way too clever and way too just plain good for the man he went to hell and back with five months ago. Never allowing Wolak to bully him this time around, Rodriguez, boxing one of his career-best fights, won by shut-out on one of the three cards; the other two judges having it very wide in the winner’s favour. Wolak, who finished the fight looking busted up (although not as horrifically as he was in July), gave it his best shot but seemed to lack his usual physical strength.

A huge tenth and final round for Rodriguez saw the Dominican Republic-born fighter come ever so close to stopping the rock-jawed Polish tough guy. Raking his man with a number of hard, flush head shots, Rodriguez was forcing the commentators to argue that the fight should be stopped. No doubt a 10-8 round for Rodriguez, Wolak has never survived a harder three minutes.

Had last night’s fight been as good as the first meeting, or in any way close on the cards, there could have been demand for a third fight. But not now. This particular rivalry has surely come to an end after two fights: one great, the other good.

Rodriguez and Wolak both reportedly earned career-high purses for last night’s return. Both men earned it.

Based on his excellent performance, Rodriguez, a former IBF welterweight title challenger, is more than worthy of a shot at one of the 154-pound titles.

Article posted on 04.12.2011



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