Rodriguez Fights in Idaho May 3

Undefeated professional and two-time national amateur champion Edwin Rodriguez of Worcester, Mass., fights in the west for first time with a four-round middleweight bout May 3 in Worley, Idaho. Rodriguez, who has a record of 4-0 with three knockouts and turns 23 May 5, is hoping for an early birthday present with a win in his first fight outside of Massachusetts and New York..

“It would be nice to celebrate my birthday two days early, but I know there’re no gifts in the ring,” said Rodriguez.

His opponent at the Coeur d’Alene Casino is 24-year-old Michael Birthmark of Billings, Mont., who has a record of 1-2 with no knockouts.

This will be the fifth fight in just 14 weeks for the active Rodriguez. The 6-foot Rodriguez is coming off a fourth-round technical knockout of Jeffrey Osborne Jr. April 12 in Boston; a one-sided unanimous decision over veteran James North March 28 in Salamanca, N.Y.; a fourth-round knockout of Fitzgerald Johnson Feb. 8 in Boston; and a first-round knockout of Samuel Ortiz Gomez Jan. 26 in Mansfield, Mass.

Rodriguez plans on keeping busy, with two more bouts tentatively scheduled through June, giving him seven in five months, a brisk pace for a middleweight.

“I’d rather be active,” said Rodriguez. “These fights give me frequent opportunities to apply in the ring and test myself on what I’ve picked up in the gym. It’s a great learning experience.”
“We’re maintaining this hectic schedule because Edwin’s skills and stamina are improving by leaps and bounds,” says trainer Peter Manfredo Sr., who assumed that duty prior to Rodriguez’s third bout. “Every week he’s making great strides and getting better in every area.”

“By fighting often, Edwin knows right away what he’s catching on to and what he’s got to concentrate on in order to become a better and more complete boxer,” said Larry Army Jr., Rodriguez’s manager.

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 14.04.2008

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