Boxing News: Ryan Rhodes, Edwin Rodriguez, Howard Davis Jr, Salita vs Kotelnik

Sheffield star Ryan Rhodes embarks on his second reign over the British light-middleweight division when he locks horns with Scottish challenger Jamie Coyle on September 20 at the Hillsborough Leisure Centre, screened live and exclusively on Setanta Sports – the new undisputed home of British and world boxing. ‘The Rhodes-show’ will mark the birth of Hayemaker Boxing as a domestic and world promotional force and will feature a stacked card chock-full of the cream of British boxing..

Topping the bill and no stranger to Sheffield boxing aficionados will be two-time British champion Rhodes, who returns to his British throne some 11 years after winning his first Lonsdale title in December 1996. Still only 31, Rhodes makes the first defence of the title he won in April when halting Lewisham’s Gary Woolcombe in nine rounds. Over a decade on from his first title triumph, Rhodes insists he’s never felt better.

“The Ryan Rhodes of today definitely beats the Ryan Rhodes that won the title in 1996,” says the Sheffield switch-hitter, 39-4 (27 KO) as a pro. “I actually watched the two title wins (against Paul ‘Silky’ Jones in ‘96 and Woolcombe in April) back-to-back a few days after the Woolcombe fight and couldn’t believe the difference. I’m better in every department now. I’m stronger, fitter, faster and just more comfortable as a fighter. I’ve never felt better.”

A pro since February 1995, Rhodes has competed at both domestic and world level with varying degrees of success. A former WBO world middleweight title challenger, Rhodes feels if the time came around again he’d be better equipped to not only challenge for but ultimately win a version of the world light-middleweight title.

“I’m taking it one step at a time, but I’ve definitely still got ambitions for world titles,” he says adamantly. “There’s no doubt in my mind that I’m good enough. I think I’m better prepared now than I’ve ever been before and would go into a world title fight with every confidence that I’d come away with the title.”

Sterling-based challenger Coyle plans to put the proverbial spanner in the works come September 20. A talented amateur, Coyle has strung together an impressive record of 16-3-1 (8 KO) in the pro game. A tall stylist with cute skills, Coyle has bided his time on the domestic scene, patiently waiting for his shot at British boxing’s most illustrious prize. Also 31, Coyle knows now is the time to live up to his undoubted potential and etch his name in British boxing history.

Offering Rhodes’ headline slot some ample support will be a bevy of leading domestic contenders and prospects all looking to eventually manoeuvre their way to British title shots of their own.

Adding some further local flavour to proceedings will be Yorkshire punch machines Josh ‘The Outlaw’ Wale and Curtis Woodhouse. Super-bantamweight Wale, 7-0 (3 KO) as a pro and fighting out of Barnsley, describes himself as “Britain’s answer to Antonio Margarito” and never lets up from first bell to last. Always exciting and always willing to throw his hands, Wale is hell-bent on securing a British title shot as soon as possible.

Boasting a similar intensity is footballer-turned-fighter Woodhouse. A former pro with Sheffield United and Birmingham City, Woodhouse famously switched disciplines in September 2006 and set his sights on securing a Lonsdale title – something he’d dreamed about since he was a boy. Ridiculed at first, Driffield-based Woodhouse now stands at 7-0 (4 KO) as a pro boxer and, as stoppage victories mount up, critics fast appear to be fading away.

Another local man - of the converted type - appearing on September 20 is New York-born, Sheffield-based slugger Patrick Maxwell. Middleweight contender Maxwell – heavy-handed and ferocious – is on the rampage towards British honours and states that within 12 months he’ll be in a position to challenge for and win either the British or Commonwealth title.

Wale, Woodhouse and Maxwell aspire to claim British boxing’s premier title. Liverpool’s Tony ‘The Warrior’ Dodson has already been there. A former undefeated British super-middleweight champion, Dodson, now 23-4 (12 KO), is determined to win back the title he never lost in the ring. A second chance is imminent. Dodson is straining at the leash.

Continuing the Liverpool connection is promising pro and former ABA champion John ‘The Hurricane Kid’ Watson, 7-0 (3 KO) and one of Britain’s brightest prospects. Possessing every punch in the book, Watson has barely dropped a round let alone fight so far in his exciting seven-bout career. He looks to make it eight out of eight on September 20.

Moving away from themes of continuation and returning, Peterborough bantamweight Michael Maguire is only just getting started. A former European under-19 gold medallist as an amateur, Maguire makes his eagerly-awaited pro debut on September 20. Already likened to a young Roberto Duran by trainer Adam Booth, Maguire is a ferocious box-fighter of whom bright things are expected.


Undefeated professional Edwin Rodriguez of Worcester, Mass., coming off a unanimous decision win against his toughest opponent to date, faces another stern test when he returns to the ring against Marcus Upshaw in a six-round middleweight bout Aug. 22 in Lincoln, R.I.

Rodriguez boosted his record to 7-0 with five knockouts with the victory over Hector Hernandez, who entered the bout with a mark of 10-2-2, June 28 in Boston.

Upshaw may be even more difficult than Hernandez. Upshaw, from Jacksonville, Fla., has a record of 8-2 with three knockouts, and at 6-foot-3-inches will have a two-inch height advantage over Rodriguez.

The 23-year-old Rodriguez and Upshaw are the special attraction on a card featuring world-ranked Peter Manfredo Jr. against Donny McCrary for the vacant interim North American Boxing Federation super middleweight championship.

“This will be my second straight fight against a quality opponent, and I’m excited about it and ready,” said Rodriguez. “Upshaw’s big and has a good record, but Hernandez was taller than me and had a good record, too, and I won. It just shows that even in this early stage of my career, I really don’t care how tall my opponent is or how good a record he has. I’ll fight him.”

Upshaw, 28, has fought as heavy as a 177-pound cruiserweight and came in as a 173-pound light heavyweight for his most recent bout during June. Rodriguez, who fought at 162 for his bout against Hernandez, and Upshaw will fight at 163 pounds.

“Upshaw is a good boxer,” said his trainer, Peter Manfredo Sr. “He’s solid technically and has a quick jab. But, of course, we’re confident that with the progress Edwin is making in the gym and with each fight that he’ll handle Upshaw.”

Rodriguez’s manager, Larry Army Jr., is even more confident, saying, “I don’t think it’ll go the distance. Edwin stepped up against Hernandez, and we have every confidence he’ll do the same against Upshaw.”

Rodriguez, a former two-time national amateur champion who turned pro during late January, also has a fourth-round technical knockout of Anthony Cannon May 17 in Dorchester, Mass.; a first-round knockout of Michael Birthmark May 3 in Worley, Idaho; 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 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.


1976 Olympic Gold medalist Howard Davis Jr. will be side by side with ESPN's Brian Kenny on Sportscenter for tonight's Friday Night Fights.

Howard Davis Jr. lives in South Florida and won the 1976 Olympic gold medal in boxing in the Lightweight division in Montreal, Canada. Davis Jr. was named the Outstanding Boxer of the 1976 Olympics and given the Val Barker Trophy, an Olympics that included Sugar Ray Leonard, Michael Spinks and Leon Spinks.

Davis Jr. is one of the most decorated and successful amateurs in American boxing history. His Olympic victory came just one week after his mother died of a heart attack.
Davis Jr. turned pro after winning the Olympics. He retired in 1994 with a professional record of: 36-6-1 with 14 KO's.

Today, Davis Jr. serves as Director of Boxing at American Top Team, the nation’s top mix martial arts facility. He’s also a motivational speaker & musician.

Dmitriy Salita to fight for World Championship

Team Salita is thrilled to announce Dmitriy's fight on November 8th, 2008. Dmitriy is scheduled to fight for the WBA World Championship* against current WBA Champion Andreas Kotelnik. This historic event will take place in Madison Square Garden, and will be broadcasted live on HBO PPV as part of the Roy Jones- Joe Calzaghe undercard. Dmitriy is looking forward to this exciting and highly anticipated event. He has begun his preparations at Starret City Boxing Club before heading out to the Poconos for his final bout preparations. Stay tuned for more information…

We have also included information about the upcoming television premiere of "Orthodox Stance", a critically acclaimed documentary. We hope you enjoy the film.

* Fight is subject to Kotelnik's title defense on September 13, 2008.

The film was acquired for New York regional broadcast by the MSG Network, New York's premiere television sports network, and home of the New York Knicks, New York Rangers and Golden Gloves.

The first broadcast will be Monday August 18th at 8 PM as part of an exciting lineup of boxing films broadcast every Monday night in August on "MSG at the Movies. Look for Dmitriy to give commentary at commercial breaks.

The Israeli national broadcast of ORTHODOX STANCE on the YES Network is tentatively scheduled for November. As soon as the date and time are confirmed, we'll let you know.

The film will soon be available on DVD. We are excited to announce that Indiepix (www.indiepixfilms .com) will be distributing the DVD. In the meantime, SNAG Films, an innovative new venture from Ted Leonsis and his AOL team, to stream the film on the web. You can now watch ORTHODOX STANCE at , and soon you will be able to click through to buy the DVD.

Article posted on 14.08.2008

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