Rodriguez Wins by KO Saturday

04.05.08 - Undefeated professional and two-time national amateur champion Edwin Rodriguez of Worcester, Mass., improved his record to 5-0 by knocking out Michael Birthmark at 2:46 of the first round in a super middleweight bout scheduled for four Saturday night in Worley, Idaho. The win was an early birthday present for Rodriguez, who turns 23 Monday..

“It’s nice to celebrate my birthday two days early, but I don’t think I would call the win a gift,” said Rodriguez. “Birthmark didn’t give me anything. I had to work for it.”

Rodriguez, 165, knocked down Birthmark, 167 1/2, at 1:10 of the first with two lefts to the body. Birthmark never recovered and three left-right combinations to the head by Rodriguez finished the job with 14 seconds remaining in the round.

“I was happy with Edwin’s body work and also how he put together his combinations,” said Rodriguez’s trainer, Peter Manfredo Sr.

“Edwin is reaping the benefits of his association with Peter Sr.,” said Rodriguez’s manager, Larry Army Jr. “Edwin’s proving that in every fight.”

The 24-year-old Birthmark from Billings, Mont., now has a record of 1-3 with no knockouts.

This was the fifth fight in just 14 weeks for the active Rodriguez. The 6-foot Rodriguez was 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 a bout later this month and then another during June, giving him seven in five months, a brisk pace for a middleweight.

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 04.05.2008

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