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Gennady Golovkin made short work of former titlist Nobuhiru Ishida in the main event of the evening. After a feeling out round in Round 1, Golovkin took over swarming the upset specialist Ishida. Finally in Round 3, Golovkin land a brutal right hand ending it at the 2:20 mark.
In the 2nd leg of the Million Dollar Super 4 showed a foul filled scrap between Edwin Rodriguez (23-0) & Ezequiel Maderna (19-1). Both men were looking for the knockout punch for most of the fight. Edwin had two points taken away for a low blow & a punch to the back of the head. Maderna rose from both of the fouls only to be dropped by a solid right in the 9th round. The judges scored the fight 95-92 & 96-92 x2 for you winner via unanimous decision Edwin Rodriguez.
Zsolt Erdei (33-1, 18KO’s) returned to the ring for the 1st time in 23 months to take part in the Million Dollar Super 4 against Denis Grachev (13-1-1, 8KO’s). Erdei shook off his ring rust early in a back and forth battle with Grachev. After winning the early rounds Erdei seemingly gassed and Grachev was able to apply pressure to control the middle rounds. Both figthers gave it there all in the final rounds with ATG scoring it a 95-95 draw. The judges on the otherhand scored it 96-94 Grachev, 96-94 Erdei, and 96-94 for your winner via split decision Denis Grachev.
Sergey Rabchenko (23-0, KO’s) needed just 3 rounds to defend his EBU Jr Middleweight title against Italian Champion Adriano Nicchi (20-4-2, 9KO’s). Throughout the fight, Rabchenko controlled the pace unloading on Nicchi who continously dropped his left hand resulting in several devastating right hands by Rabchenko. Rabchecko landed a nasty right hand in the 3rd causing Nicchi to be laid out. The referee did not even administer a count, calling a halt to the action at the 2:19 mark of Round 3.
Kirill Relikh (13-0, 12KO’s) make short work of normally game Paolo Gassani (16-4 8KO’s). Relikh let an onslaught of vicious punches on Gassani. Gassani tried to fight back but was ultimately stopped by a vicious body shot at the 2:02 mark of Round 1.
Tamas Lodi (9-0-1, 7KO’s) took his 3rd fight in the month of March on short notice to battle hard hitting Ilungs Makabu (13-1, 12KO’s). Lodi, the last minute replacement, was over matched from the very beginning. Makabu drew first blood from Lodi by busting up his nose late in the 1st. Makabu continued to overwhelm Lodi in the 2nd & the 3rd before dropping him with a vicious left hand. Makabu kept pouring it on causing the referee to halt the action in favor of Makabu at the 1:21 mark of Round 3.
Monte Carlo (3/28/13) – Gennady Golovkin is in peak physical condition ahead of the seventh defense of his WBA and IBO middleweight titles in Monte Carlo on Saturday. The unbeaten Kazakhstani yesterday went through his paces during a public 45-minute workout at the suitably grand Monte Carlo Casino.
With his shirt off, he looked lean and ripped as he worked the pads with top trainer Abel Sanchez. “I’m ready to go,” said Golovkin. “I had an eight-week camp and all has gone according to plan.”
He defends against Nobuhiro Ishida, a fighter he isn’t underestimating. “We’re expecting a hard fight,” said manager Tom Loeffler. “Ishida is tall and has some power, but Gennady is in tremendous shape.”
Earlier, Ishida worked out and looked sharp and relaxed ahead of the biggest fight of his career.
All the fighters, bar Jean Marc Monrose, who arrives today, put on public workouts against the dramatic backdrop of the famous casino. Unbeaten Edwin Rodriguez got a first hand look at Ezequiel Maderna, who he fights in the first round of the Million Dollar Super Four event. Big around the shoulders, the Argentine is a largely unknown quantity, but Rodriguez isn’t taking him lightly given his impressive amateur career.
“We’ve come off probably the best fight camp ever,” said trainer Ronnie Shields. “I couldn’t have asked for more and we’re planning to put on a show come Saturday night.”
The “Monte-Carlo Million Dollar Super 4” and Golovkin’s middleweight title defense will be distributed in the United States and Canada by Integrated Sports Media for live viewing at 3:00 p.m. ET/12:00 p.m. PT on both cable and satellite Pay-Per-View via iN Demand, DIRECTV, DISH and Avail-TVN in the United States and in Canada via Bell TV for a suggested retail price of only $24.95. In addition, the event will be available via online Pay-Per-View at:
To order the “Super Four” PPV, headlined by WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin defending against former world champion Nobuhiro Ishida, go to your cable company’s PPV listings for Saturday afternoon (starting at 3 p.m. ET; event telecast starting at 3:30 pm ET ) and look under boxing for Golovkin vs. Ishida. In addition, the event will be available via online Pay-Per-View at:
There is a buzz around Zsolt Erdei’s participation, not least because he hasn’t fought in two years and no-one has a real idea of how he’ll shape against determined Russian Denis Grachev.
“He has a lot riding on this,” said Golden Gloves promoter Rodney Berman. “He’s a massive hero in his native Hungary, with many of his fans expected ringside. He’ll be fighting for them as much as himself.”
Sergey Rabchenko also looks in tip-top condition ahead of his European junior-middleweight title fight against Adriano Nicchi of Italy. Training camps in France and the UK have prepared him well and he says he is looking to make a statement against Nicchi.
“I’m number two in the WBC. A title fight could be around the corner, so no slip-ups from me,” he said confidently.
Meanwhile, cruiserweight Junior Makabu charmed the crowd as he addressed them in his native French. Little-known beyond Africa, he intends making a few waves against local hero Monrose.
The weigh-in takes place 6 pm local time on Friday.
The event is promoted by Rodney Berman’s Golden Gloves. The Golovkin-Ishida bout is promoted in association with K2 Promotions, while the Rodriguez-Maderna and Erdei-Grachev bouts are promoted in association with DiBella Entertainment.
MONTE-CARLO MILLION DOLLAR SUPER 4
FINAL PRESSER QUOTES
Monte-Carlo, Monaco (3/26/13) – Early this evening at the elegant Casino de Monte Carlo in beautiful Monaco, Rodney Berman of Golden Gloves, hosted the final press conference and V.I.P meet-and-greet, for Saturday’s much anticipated event in Monaco..
The event, promoted in association with Monte Carlo SBM Hotel and Casino, is headlined by red-hot WBA middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (25-0, 22KO’s) defending his title against former world champion Nobuhiro Ishida (24-8-2, 9KO’s). The opening round of the Super 4 tournament matches Edwin Rodriguez (22-0, 15KO’s) against Argentinean Olympian Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna (19-0, 13KO’s) and former two-division world champion Zsolt Erdei (33-0, 18KO’s) squaring off against Denis Grachev (12-1-1, 8KO’s). The card will be distributed in the United States and Canada on PPV by Integrated Sports Media for live viewing at 3:00 p.m. ET/12:00 p.m. PT on both cable and satellite Pay-Per-View.
Berman, the premiere promoter in South Africa, kicked off the presser thanking everyone for coming out, and for everyone who was involved in putting this historic event together.
“A lot of people have put a lot of hard work into this,” said Berman. “This is going to be a fantastic event on Saturday night, with a card that features an array of talent and fantastic fighters from the top to bottom. There has been a huge worldwide response for this tournament which features “GGG” (Gennady Golovkin). We are just really excited to finally get things underway on Saturday night.”
The middleweight champion Golovkin took to the podium first:
“I am very happy to be here in this beautiful country and a in such great city and I want to thank everyone involved in this event. This is great for the fans and for the sport of boxing. I know Ishida well and I know this is going to be a difficult fight. I am ready to put on a great performance for everyone on Saturday night.
“I want to thank the champion for giving us the opportunity for this fight,” said the challenger, and former champion Ishida. “We know that he (Golovkin) is a great and powerful champion. He is very strong and one of the best fighters pound-for-pound in boxing, but we are here for the upset. We are prepared to do whatever we have to do to take this championship home with us.”
The first fighter of the Super 4 tournament to the podium was undefeated super middleweight contender Edwin Rodriguez (22-0, 15KO’s). The defending USBA champion, and IBF #3, WBC #3, WBA #5, WBO #12 rated super middleweight Rodriguez first thanked his promoter Lou DiBella and manager Larry Army, as well as the organizers of the event, including a special thanks to Rodney Berman, before giving his take on the tournament.
Below are quotes from all four contestants in the Monte-Carlo Million Dollar Super 4:
“I think that this is a great tournament, for not only all of the fighters involved, but for the sport of boxing,” said Rodriguez. “Everyone in this tournament is coming in thinking that they are the favorite, and I know that I have a big task in front of me on Saturday with Maderna. I plan on taking care of business though, not only on Saturday but in the finale in July as well. I know everyone has worked very hard to get to this point, but I have no intentions on letting this opportunity pass me by. This is a monumental event for my career as well as for my family.”
“I respect Edwin as a fighter just like I respect everyone of my opponents that I am up against,” said Maderna. There is no doubt in my mind though I will be taking the victory with me back to Argentina.”
“I came back because I love boxing. This is my life,” said the two division long-time former world champion Erdei. “I want to prove that I am still one of the top fighters in the world and winning this tournament does just that.”
“I know everything there is to know about Zsolt,” said Grachev. “I know he is a tough opponent and it wasn’t a mistake that he was champion for as long as he was. I am here to win though. I am always confident going into my fights. It doesn’t matter who is in front of me, I will always fight hard and always find a way to win.”
The event in Monaco is headlined by red-hot WBA middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (25-0, 22KO’s) defending his title against former world champion Nobuhiro Ishida (24-8-2, 9KO’s). The opening round of the Super 4 tournament matches Edwin Rodriguez (22-0, 15KO’s) against Argentinean Olympian Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna (19-0, 13KO’s) and former two-division world champion Zsolt Erdei (33-0, 18KO’s) squaring off against Denis Grachev (12-1-1, 8KO’s). The card will be distributed in the United States and Canada on PPV by Integrated Sports Media for live viewing at 3:00 p.m. ET/12:00 p.m. PT on both cable and satellite Pay-Per-View.
The “Monte-Carlo Million Dollar Super 4” and Golovkin’s middleweight title defense will be distributed in the United States and Canada by Integrated Sports Media for live viewing at 3:00 p.m. ET/12:00 p.m. PT on both cable and satellite Pay-Per-View via iN Demand, DIRECTV, DISH and Avail-TVN in the United States and in Canada via Bell TV, for a suggested retail price of only $24.95. In addition, the event will be available via online Pay-Per-View at:
The event is promoted by Rodney Berman’s Golden Gloves. The Golovkin-Ishida bout is promoted in association with K2 Promotions, while the Rodriguez-Maderna and Erdei-Grachev bouts are promoted in association with DiBella Entertainment.
Tickets can be purchased by contacting the SBM Reservations Department by phone at: +377 98 06 36 36 (10 am to 7 pm) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
MONTE-CARLO MILLION DOLLAR SUPER 4 PARTICIPANTS
WRAPPING UP TRAINING CAMP PREPARATIONS
HEAD TO MONACO TOMORROW
NEW YORK (March 22, 2013) – Tomorrow, all four participants for the much-anticipated Monte-Carlo Million Dollar Super 4 Tournament depart their respective training camps and head to beautiful Monaco, in anticipation of the opening round of the tournament taking place on Saturday, March 30, at the Chapiteau de Fontvieille.
The event in Monaco is headlined by red-hot WBA middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (25-0, 22KO’s) defending his title against former world champion Nobuhiro Ishida (24-8-2, 9KO’s). The opening round of the Super 4 tournament matches Edwin Rodriguez (22-0, 15KO’s) against Argentinean Olympian Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna (19-0, 13KO’s) and former two-division world champion Zsolt Erdei (33-0, 18KO’s) squaring off against Denis Grachev (12-1-1, 8KO’s). The card will be distributed in the United States and Canada on PPV by Integrated Sports Media for live viewing at 3:00 p.m. ET/12:00 p.m. PT on both cable and satellite Pay-Per-View as well as WORLDWIDE on GFL.TV
Below are quotes from each fighter from their last day of training:
EDWIN RODRIGUEZ (L) W/ STABLEMATE BRYAN VERA
“This has been an amazing training camp,” said Rodriguez. “Ronnie Shields and the guys at Peak Performance in Houston have me in amazing shape. I am ready to get into the ring and show the world who I am and what I am made of. I want to thank Golden Gloves, my promoter DiBella Entertainment and my manager Larry Army Jr. for this opportunity. I encourage everyone to tune in on March 30 to see me at the top of my game in the biggest fight of my career.”
EZEQUIEL OSVALDO MADERNA
“I have had a great training camp and I am excited to finally be departing for Monaco for what is going to be the most important challenge of my life,” said Maderna. “We have wrapped up the final stages of training camp, and, come March 30, I will be ready for a war against Edwin Rodriguez.”
ZSOLT ERDEI TRAINING W/ FUTURE HALL-OF-FAME
TRAINER FRITZ SDUNEK
“I am very happy that the Hungarian fans will have a chance to once again see me fight live and in person. It just multiplies my strength and will to win,” said the former two-division champion Zsolt Erdei, regarding the large number of Hungarian fans making the trip to Monaco.
Erdei continued, “I want to prove that the old man is not an old man. So far everything is going well. I have had no problem with my weight, the shape I am in is almost disturbingly good. The bumps are there, of course, over the many years of fighting, but I know that above anything else, my power is still there, and Grachev will find that out on March 30. I’m going to prove that I am still one of the top fighters in the world.”
“This has been the hardest training camp that I have ever had. I have already made my plans to be back in Monaco in July,” stated a determined Grachev.
Excitement is building ahead of the international boxing spectacular, the Monte-Carlo Million Dollar Super 4, which takes place in the famous Mediterranean city next weekend.
The boxers begin arriving from all over the world early next week and will come face to face for the first time at a media conference at the Casino de Monte-Carlo on Tuesday evening. The press conference will include Gennady Golovkin, the WBA and IBO middleweight champion, challenger Nobuhiro Ishida, plus Super 4 contestants Edwin Rodriguez, Ezequiel Maderna, Denis Grachev and Zsolt Erdei. Sergei Rabchenko and Adriano Nicchi, contestants for the European junior middleweight title bout, will also appear, plus undercard fighters Junior Makabu and Jean Marc Monrose. All together, nine separate countries will be represented at the gigantic international final presser.
On Wednesday afternoon, March 27, the boxers will engage in public workouts, also at the casino, with fans encouraged to lend their support.
The weigh-in will take place at 6pm on the eve of the tournament, with the Casino de Monte-Carlo again offering a suitably classic backdrop to this historic event.
ZSOLT ERDEI SUFFERS BROKEN RIBS IN TRAINING FORCED TO WITHDRAW FROM SEPT 29TH HBO BOXING AFTER DARK TRIPLE-HEADER
New York, NY (9/5/2012) – Former two-division world champion Zsolt Erdei has been forced to withdraw from his much-anticipated Septemember 29th light heavyweight matchup against Isaac Chilemba at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods after suffering two broken ribs in training. The bout was scheduled to open up the HBO “Boxing After Dark” telecast, which is being headlined by top-rated super middleweight contender Edwin Rodriguez (21-0, 14KO’s) defending his USBA championship against undefeated prospect Jason Escalera (13-0-1, 12KO’s).
“I can’t express enough how disappointed I am,” said Erdei. “I wanted this fight so badly. To be honest I was so upset when this happened that I thought I would retire, but after speaking with my family and friends I have decided that I will be back. Fighting is my life and I am going to be coming back soon as possible.”
Erdei was in great shape preparing for Chilemba and was getting ready to travel to the U.S. to finish up his training camp when he suffered the injury during sparring. Erdei was hit with a body shot in an awkward spot causing the ribs to break. X-rays of the break can be seen below:
An announcement on the third televised fight will be made soon.
New York, NY (8/30/12) – On Saturday, September 29, DiBella Entertainment presents the HBO Boxing After Dark tripleheader, live from the MGM Grand at Foxwoods, in Mashantucket, CT. Headlining the card will be Worcester, Massachusetts’ Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez (21-0, 14KO’s) defending his USBA super middleweight championship against New Jersey knockout artist Jason “El Monstruo” Escalera (13-0-1, 12KO’s). In the televised co-feature, Luis “Orlandito” Del Valle (16-0, 11KO’s) faces his toughest opponent to date when he squares off against former world champion Vic Darchinyan (37-5-1, 27KO’s) for the vacant NABF super bantamweight title. Opening up the televised portion of the card will be former two-division undefeated world champion Zsolt Erdei (33-0, 18KO’s) taking on Isaac Chilemba (19-1-1, 9KO’s) in a key light heavyweight matchup. The card is promoted by DiBella Entertainment, in association with Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing and Gary Shaw Productions. HBO begins live coverage at 9:30PM ET/PT.
The tripleheader is being called “Road to Glory” and the name is quite fitting as each fight carries heavy implications. It is just the second time that the top-rated Rodriguez will see airtime on the network (first in the main event), and it is a first for Escalera, Del Valle, Chilemba, and Erdei. Together the five fighters have a combined record of 102-1-2, with the lone fighter on the card sporting more than one loss being the veteran and former three-time world champion Darchinyan.
Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment (DBE), has a knack for signing good young talent. DiBella guided the career of Andre Berto from his pro-debut to his first championship. He was also was the only promoter who was willing to take a shot at a then unknown Argentinean, Sergio Martinez. So when this past year’s ESPN Boxing’s Prospects to Watch List, compiled by esteemed writer Dan Rafael, came out, it was little surprise that several DBE-promoted fighters, including Rodriguez and Del Valle, topped the list. DiBella sees championship material and expects big things in the careers from each of the DBE fighters on the card, and for that reason he feels there could be not one, not two, but three separate breakout performances on September 29.
Below is a closer look at each matchup.
EDWIN RODRIGUEZ VS. JASON ESCALERA
The 27-year-old Dominican-native Rodriguez, lives in Worcester, MA, but has been training in Houston with renowned trainer Ronnie Shields for his past three fights. The 2005 United States Amateur Champion and 2006 National Golden Glove Champion has gradually climbed the super middleweight world rankings since turning pro in early 2008. Rodriguez is currently rated as the IBF #4, WBC #4 and WBA #8 super middleweight in the world. Rodriguez is coming off an impressive 10-round unanimous decision over fellow contender Donovan George that was shown live on HBO. Rodriguez hopes an impressive showing against Escalera will propel him into his first world title opportunity.
The Puerto Rican Escalera, also 27 years old, calls Union City, NJ, his home. With devastating power in both hands, Escalera has the ability to end a fight in the blink of an eye. Like Rodriguez, Escalera also turned pro in early 2008, after winning the New Jersey Golden Gloves Light Heavyweight Championship in 2007. The only blemish thus far on Escalera’s record is an eight-round split decision draw against fellow prospect Nick Brinson back on May 18 of this year.
LUIS DEL VALLE VS. VIC DARCHINYAN
From 2004-2007, while Del Valle was tearing through the amateur ranks, picking up a number of regional and national championships (http://boxrec.com/media/index.php?title=Human:450099), Darchinyan, already a pro for four years, was the king of the flyweights.
Darchinyan won the first of his three world titles by stopping longtime IBF champion Irene Pacheco on December 16, 2004. Darchinyan defended that title six times, before being knocked out by Nonito Donaire in 2007. By 2008, Darchinyan had moved up in weight to claim the IBF super featherweight title. On November 1, 2008, Darchinyan became the undisputed champion, knocking out Cristian Mijares, to add the WBC and WBA belts to his collection.
Seven months before Darchinyan fought Mijares, the Puerto Rican Del Valle made his pro debut scoring a third-round KO over Ray Rivera in Atlantic City. After starting his career campaigning in the featherweight and super featherweight divisions, Del Valle has since begun the gradual drop down to super bantamweight. Del Valle is currently rated #4 in the WBA featherweight ratings, #10 in the WBO and #13 in the WBC super bantamweight ratings. A win over Darchinyan, for the vacant NABF title, will allow Del Valle to crack the top 10 of the super bantamweight rankings. On the other hand, Darchinyan knows that this could be his last chance at reclaiming another world championship and will undoubtedly be leaving it all on the line come fight night.
ZSOLT ERDEI VS. ISAAC CHILEMBA
From 2004-2009, Erdei ruled the light heavyweight division, defending his WBO title 11 times. In 2009, Erdei moved up in weight to challenge WBC Cruiserweight Champion Giacobbe Fragomeni. Despite giving up 17 pounds, Erdei won a majority decision. Soon after that, Erdei retired. The retirement didn’t last long though, as Erdei returned a year later making his U.S. debut under new promoter DiBella Entertainment. Erdei was scheduled to challenge IBF Light Heavyweight Champion Tavoris Cloud last year, but was forced to withdraw after suffering an injury in training camp. Now Erdei is back, healthy and rested, and ready to make another run at light heavyweight supremacy. In his way stands the IBF #5, WBC #6, WBA #13, and WBO # 14 rated Chilemba.
The 25-year-old South African Chilemba’s lone loss came way back in 2007. The only other blemish on Chilemba’s record is a 12-round split decision draw to highly regarded, undefeated super middleweight contender Thomas Oosthuizen (also promoted by DBE). Chilemba is coming off his most impressive victory to date, a dominant 10-round decision victory over former world title challenger Edison Miranda. Chilemba currently holds six victories over previously undefeated fighters and is confident that September 29 will make lucky number seven.
“Road to Glory” is the highly anticipated HBO Boxing After Dark tripleheader, featuring some of the brightest young fighters in all of boxing looking to continue on their respective paths toward world championships. The card will take place on Saturday, September 29, at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods. The event is promoted by DiBella Entertainment, in association with Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing and Gary Shaw Productions. All three bouts will be aired on HBO’s Boxing After Dark beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT
Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased through the Foxwoods MGM Grand box office by calling (800) 200-2882. Tickets are priced at $45, $75, $100 and $200.
EDWIN RODRIGUEZ HEADLINES HBO BOXING AFTER DARK SEPTEMBER 29 ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF HIS WIFE GIVING BIRTH TO THEIR PREMATURE TWINS
RODRIGUEZ – “OUR TWINS ARE THE TRUE CHAMPIONS”
New York, NY (7/30/ 12) – On September 29, at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods, Worcester’s favorite son Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez (21-0, 14 KO’s) will headline a special edition HBO “Boxing After Dark” Triple-Header when he takes on Union City, New Jersey’s Jason Escalera (13-0-1, 12 KO’s). At stake for Rodriguez against the heavy-handed Escalera is not only his undefeated record but also his standing in the world ratings. Rodriguez is currently rated #3 by the IBF, #4 by the WBC, and #8 by the WBA, at super middleweight. An impressive victory on September 29 will move him a giant step closer to a world championship opportunity. HBO will begin live coverage of the event at 9:30 PM ET/PT.
While his upcoming bout will certainly be one of the most significant dates in his professional boxing career, the date of September 29 has for some time now been a very significant day in the life of Rodriguez.
On September 29, 2006, Rodriguez’ future wife Stephanie gave birth to the couple’s twins, Edwin Jr. and Serena. The children were born nearly four months premature, weighing just over one pound each. What ensued was a 122-day stay for the twins at the UMass Memorial Medical Center neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in Worcester where doctors struggled day in and day out to keep the twins alive.
Below is a link to the inspiring story written about the twins by Edwin’s father in law, Richard Herrick, Professor of Chemistry and Edward A. O’Rorke Professor in the Liberal Arts at Holy Cross. After reading one can better understand why no matter what Rodriguez accomplishes in his professional boxing career, the undefeated super middleweight contender continuously states that “Our twins are the true champions.”
Tickets can be purchased through the Foxwoods MGM Grand box office by calling 1 (800) 200-2882. Tickets are priced at $45, $75, $100 and $200.
WORCESTER, MA (July 26, 2012) – Most established prizefighters take extended periods off between fights to recharge. Undefeated Dominican sensation Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez (21-0, 14 KOs), however, practically lives in the gym continuing to train hard as he looks ahead to his first world title shot opportunity, hopefully, in 2013.
Instead of taking a well-deserved vacation after his solid March 17th win by unanimous decision over Donovan George for the United States Boxing Association (USBA) super middleweight championship, Rodriguez returned home to Worcester (MA) to be with his family for only a week before returning to work.
Even though he’s driven to succeed for his young family, it’s strictly business for “La Bomba,” at least at this stage of his career, as he continues to makes great sacrifices now in order to invest in the future for his wife, Stephanie, and their five-year-old twins, Serena and Edwin, Jr., who are both special needs children.
Rodriguez is a legitimate world title contender, who is rated as high as No. 3 in the International Boxing Federation (IBF) and No. 4 by the World Boxing Council (WBC). He’s also ranked No. 8 by the World Boxing Association (WBA), as well as No. 9 by The Ring Magazine.
Former world middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik is now set in his sights, but only after Rodriguez gets past his next opponent, unbeaten Jason Escalera (13-0-1, 12 KOs), headlining a DiBella Entertainment presented HBO Boxing After Dark show on September 29 from MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods.
After spending several weeks at the famed Kronk Gym in Detroit, where he served as a chief sparring partner for Andy Lee as he prepared for his WBA middleweight title fight against Julio Caesar Chavez, Jr., Edwin headed Southwest to Houston to train with his mentor, Ronnie Shields.
Once viewed as strictly a brawler with a devastating hook to the body, the 27-year-old Rodriguez displayed vastly improved defense, as well as a more effective jabs and increased head movement, in his impressive victory over George at The Theater in Madison Square Garden in the co-feature on a DiBella Entertainment card headlined by Sergio Martinez versus Mathew Macklin.
Although he reverted to his old boxing style from his amateur days, Rodriguez’ power punching was slightly diminished, so he’s been working with Shields to become a more complete fighter, like a chameleon who constantly adjusts in the ring in order to compete with the elite of the super middleweight division.
The elite of the 168-pound division, however, appears to be tied-up for the immediate future as WBA/WBC champion Andre Ward takes on WBA light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson in September, while IBF king Carl Froch and former champion Lucian Bute announced that they’ll both have fights this fall before their rematch in March.
(Photo by Ed Diller)
“I sparred at Kronk Gym with guys from 160 pounds up to heavyweights like Eddie Chambers and Jonathan Banks,” Rodriguez said. “It was a great experience for me. That place is a real doghouse with, as they say, plenty of fresh meat. I sparred with five different guys my first day. For my last fight with Donovan George, I worked so hard on defense to where I’m very comfortable. Every time I got cracked, I started to give it back, but Ronnie would calm me down between rounds and get me back working my jab. I hit Donovan George with some good shots, but I knew that he was a big puncher. I felt his power and knew what he had done in a fight with my chief sparring partner, (world rated light heavyweight) Cornelius White. George has one-punch power. It got a little boring and I wanted to brawl, but I stuck to my game plan.
“Now, I am working on sitting down more on my punches. We’re working to get my power back up so I can be more complete as an overall boxer/puncher. I’d fight any of the top super middleweights. There are so many champs and former champs in the super middleweight division right now. I’ll keep working to improve, building my name, and sooner or later I’m going to get my world title shot. I’ve got a dream team working for me in (promoter) Lou DiBella, (manager) Larry Army and (trainer) Ronnie Shields. There’s no rush, I’m still young. As Ronnie says, it’s not about fighting for the world title – it’s really about winning the world title and keeping it for a long time.”
Rodriguez finds himself in a wave of new contenders on the rise, including Thomas Oosthuizan, Adonis Stevenson, George Groves and James DeGale.
“We believe Edwin can beat anybody in the super middleweight division, right now, because he’s such a good multi-dimensional fighter,” Army remarked. “He showed defensive improvement in his last fight. He has above average speed, a great chin, and he’s working hard with Ronnie to bring back his power. Edwin’s undefeated and he won’t allow himself to lose. His brawling made him more exciting, but he’s developing into a complete package.
“His time will come. The super middleweight world title situation is unclear. Ward is fighting Dawson and nobody’s sure if Ward will stay at super middleweight or move up to light heavyweight. Looks like neither Froch nor Bute will be available until next spring at the earliest and (World Boxing Organization champion Robert) Stieglitz won’t leave Germany. The guy we want is Pavlik. I don’t believe he wants any part of Edwin. Pavlik had a much more difficult time fighting (Will) Rosinksy than Edwin did. But, we all know, Edwin can’t even think about Pavlik until he takes care of business September 29th with Jason Escalera.”
Rodriguez has earned his boxing bones, so to speak, having defeated his last five opponents – George (22-1-1), Rosinsky (14-0), Chris Traietti (10-2), Aaron Pryor, Jr. (15-2) and James McGirt (22-2-1) – who had an accumulative record of 83-7-2 and an outstanding 90-percent winning percentage when they entered the ring to fight Edwin. No cupcakes for this dynamic Dominican, for sure, as he quickly approaches elite status himself.
The fuse has been set for “La Bomba” and it’s ready to explode very soon.
HBO BOXING AFTER DARK TRIPLE-HEADER
SEPTEMBER 29 AT THE MGM GRAND AT FOXWOODS
New York, NY (7/19/12) – Earlier this afternoon, DiBella Entertainment (DBE) held a teleconference to officially announce their much anticipated HBO Boxing After Dark Triple-Header, which will take place on September 29, at MGM Grand at Foxwoods. The card, billed as “Road to Glory”, is headlined by DBE’s undefeated top-rated super middleweight contender Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez (21-0, 14KO’s) squaring off against the hard-hitting, up-and-coming super middleweight prospect Jason “Monstruo” Escalera (13-0-1, 12 KO’s). In the televised undercard bouts, undefeated former two-division world champion Zsolt Erdei (33-0, 18 KO’s) takes on South Africa’s top-rated light heavyweight Isaac Chilemba (19-1-1, 9 KO’s), and Luis “Orlandito” Del Valle (16-0, 11 KO’s) squares off against former three-time world champion Vic Darchinyan (37-5-1, 27 KO’s). The card is promoted by DiBella Entertainment, in association with Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing and Gary Shaw Productions. All three bouts will be aired live on HBO’s Boxing After Dark, beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT.
Tickets go on sale tomorrow morning at 10 AM ET and can be purchased through the Foxwoods MGM Grand box office by calling 1 (800) 200-2882. Tickets are priced at $45, $75, $100 and $200.
Below are some of the highlights from the call:
LOU DIBELLA: I’m very excited to announce this tremendous fight card which takes place on September 29 at the MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods, televised by HBO. This is a card that showcases a number of young talent fighting in true crossroads battles which have significance across multiple weight classes. I’m very happy to say that this card was done in cooperation with Gary Shaw Productions and Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing, so for a change you have promoters working together as opposed to going after each other and I think that’s good for the sport.
This card is entitled Road to Glory and while we have big plans and championship aspirations for all of our guys on the card, all three of these bouts are dangerous fights and we can’t look past the task at hand on September 29th.
EDWIN RODRIGUEZ: This is an important fight in my career. I’m fighting a young, up-and-coming prospect who has power in both hands and a strong will to win. I’m ready. I’ve been in camp for about three weeks. Prior to that, I was working with Andy Lee to help him get ready for the Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. fight. I’m excited to get back on HBO on September 29, which is actually the day that my twins were born. It was a good day and a bad day for me at the same time because my kids were born premature at 23 weeks and five days. I’m working extremely hard with Ronnie Shields to keep getting better and improving my game. I’m looking forward to fighting in Connecticut, which is about an hour and a half from my hometown, so I’ll have a lot of people supporting me. Jason’s going to have a lot of fans there as well, and it’s going to be a war.
JOE DEGUARDIA (PROMOTER OF JASON ESCALERA): This fight between Jason Escalera and Edwin Rodriguez figures to be a Gatti-Ward kind of fight because they’re both bangers, both exciting fighters. I’m proud of Jason Escalera, he’s a real gentleman and a real warrior in the ring.
LUIS ORLANDO DEL VALLE: I want to be the best and to be the best, you have to beat the best. We’re going to prove to the world that we belong with the big boys on September 29. We’ve already started training camp and we have no doubt that we’re going to come out with the win. We’ll keep moving forward to our goal to capture on of the title belts. I can’t wait. September 29 is a big day for me and is a big day for boxing because everyone will know who ‘Orlandito’ Del Valle is.”
ELIAS NASSAR (REPRESENTATIVE OF VIC DARCHINYAN): I want to thank HBO, Lou DiBella and Gary Shaw for putting this together for Vic. Vic’s looking forward to fighting Del Valle on September 29. He’s preparing very well over in Armenia and it should be a very exciting bout.”
ZSOLT ERDEI: Last time I fought was a year ago. I missed a fight in December because of my injury and I am very hungry to be in the ring again and I am very excited. I feel very strong and I feel 100 percent. I thank DiBella Entertainment and HBO for this fight. I am hoping to win and it is a big chance for the next fight to fight for a world championship again
ISAAC CHILEMBA: I’m really looking forward to this fight. This is a fight that I have been waiting for all my life. I’m looking forward to showcasing my ability against someone like Zsolt Erdei, who is undefeated in 33 fights and is a former two-time world champion
“Road to Glory” is the highly anticipated HBO Boxing After Dark Triple-Header, featuring some of the brightest young fighters in all of boxing looking to continue on their path towards their respective world championships. The card will take place on Saturday, September 29, at MGM Grand at Foxwoods. The event is promoted by DiBella Entertainment, in association with Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing and Gary Shaw Productions. All three bouts will be aired on HBO’s Boxing After Dark beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT
Tickets go on sale tomorrow morning at 10 AM. ET and can be purchased through the Foxwoods MGM Grand box office by calling 1 (800) 200-2882. Tickets are priced at $45, $75, $100 and $200.