Edwin Rodriguez Wins Friday

Undefeated professional and two-time national amateur champion Edwin Rodriguez of Worcester, Mass., improved his record to 3-0 with an easy, unanimous decision win over veteran James North of Weston, W. Va., in a four-round super middleweight bout Friday night in Salamanca, N.Y.

It was Rodriguez’s first fight with new trainer Peter Manfredo Sr.

Rodriguez, who now has a record of 3-0 with two knockouts, dropped North in the fourth round with a right to the head that was set up by a double left jab. The 22-year-old Rodriguez won rounds one through three as well and triumphed by scores of 40-35 on all three judges’ scorecards. North now has a mark of 8-20-2 with three knockouts.

“I feel very comfortable with Peter in the corner,” said Rodriguez, who weighed in at

164 1/2, three-and-one-half pounds less than North. “I tried to do the things he’s been teaching me in the gym.”

“Edwin put together some of what we’ve been working on,” said Manfredo Sr. “And he listened between rounds and responded in the ring. I’m pleased with his performance. And this is just the start.”

“It appeared North elected to survive,” said Larry Army Jr., Rodriguez’s manager. “So, Edwin got in some work, and that’s good. I’m very happy because his technique was the best it’s been. That’s Edwin and Peter meshing.”

This was Rodriguez’s third fight in just nine weeks. The 6-foot Rodriguez stopped Fitzgerald Johnson in the fourth round Feb. 8 in Boston and Samuel Ortiz Gomez in the first round Jan. 26 in Mansfield, Mass.

Rodriguez won the USA Boxing national championship for 2005 and the Golden Gloves national championship for 2006, both at 165 pounds.

Rodriguez, who has lived in Worcester since arriving in the United States from his native Dominican Republic during 1998, considered competing for a spot on the 2008 U.S. Olympic team, but the premature birth of twins, Edwin Jr. and Serena Lynn, changed his priorities. Stephanie Rapa, Edwin’s fiancee and mother of the twins, is a graduate of Holy Cross with a degree in political science and has been accepted by the Western New England School of Law.

Article posted on 29.03.2008

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