Boxing

Edwin Rodriguez: Ill be working extremely hard to send a message to let everybody know that I have arrived and that Im ready to fight anyone in the top ten

by Geoffrey Ciani (Exclusive Interview by Jenna J & Geoffrey Ciani) - This weeks edition of On the Ropes Boxing Radio featured an exclusive interview with undefeated super middleweight contender Edwin Rodriguez (20-0, 14 KOs) who will be taking on Don George (22-1-1, 19 KOs) TONIGHT on HBO! Rodriguez spoke about his upcoming fight with George, and also touched on a variety of other subjects including his 2011 campaign, the fight between Sergio Martinez and Matthew Macklin, the 168 pound landscape, the fight between Carl Froch and Lucian Bute, and more! Here is what Rodriguez had to say:

On receiving the opportunity to fight Don George on HBO March 17:

Oh, its a great opportunity you know being on HBO at Madison Square Garden which is a legendary venue. Its a blessing!

On whether there is any added pressure fighting under the spotlights of high profile exposure:

Definitely theres a lot of pressure, but boxing is performed in front of a lot of people on TV. So Im ready for the pressure and I know how to perform under pressure.

His views on whether he believes the winner of the fight between him and Don George could be in line for a title shot:

You know I have a tough fight in front of me with Donovan George. Hes a strong fighter, he has power in both hands, and Im just looking at one fight at a time. Im going to let my manager manage, and my promoter promote, and Im just going to be the fighter! Im going to take care of Donovan George on March 17 and if they feel like Im ready for a world title and give me the opportunity, then that would be great. But Ill let them do their jobs.

On whether he views Don George as his toughest opponent to date:

Uhmm, well see. Well see March 17. I know hes going to be prepared for this fight. I know this is a big opportunity for me, but I know its a big opportunity for him as well. So I know the best Donovan George is going to come out on March 17, but I had a great camp and Ill be ready.

Regarding whether he believes the added pressure will take him out of his game:

Not at all. I think with that pressure, Im going to turn it into a positive. You know I got to impress. Ive got to be impressive at this next level and that pressure is going to help me stay focused and do the things I need to do on March 17.

On what he sees himself needing to do in order to be successful against Don George:

Just follow my trainer, just follow Ronnie. Ronnie has a great game plan. He put something together that weve been working on in the gym every day, and just making that game plan just be natural and just be normal. You know Ive been practicing it every day. Im not going to give it away, but I trust Ronnie in the corner and I know he has the right game plan to beat this opponent, and I will be ready March 17.

His evaluation of his efforts in the three fights he had in 2011:

I think it was good. I had three fights. I beat Aaron Pryor Junior and an undefeated fighter Will Rosinsky. Right before I beat Aaron Pryor he went on to beat Librado Andrade he was a top 10 contender at the time. So I thought I had a good year. I think I could have been more busy, but I had a good year and I had a new trainer in Ronnie Shields. So I had a lot of times when I was in camp just making adjustments and getting used to having a new trainer.

His views on how Ronnie Shields has helped him progress and develop as a fighter:

Ronnie is just a teacher. He knows how to teach the game. Hes been in the game for a long time. He was a fighter himself. Hes been there before, so you know having somebody that you can trust in that corner is a big plus, because I know hes been there. I know hes used to what Im feeling at that moment, and hes very good tactical-wise, and hes able to put together the best game plan for me to carry through the fight.

Regarding how he feels about fighting in the 168 pound division that has a lot of big names at the moment:

Oh, there are a lot of opportunities! There are so many big names! There are former champions, the Super Six, its a very hot division right now and Im happy to be a part of it. There are a lot of great fights to be made, and like I said Im just happy to be a part of it. In this fight Ill be working extremely hard to send a message to let everybody know that I have arrived and that Im ready to fight anyone in the top ten.

His views on who he considers the best fighter in the super middleweight division:

I have to go with Andre Ward because he actually earned it! I mean he earned it in the ring. He beat the best super middleweight fighters in the world. I know that Lucian Bute is very talented, but I dont think he deserves the number one spot because he hasnt fought the same opposition that Andre Ward did. At the end of the day I have to give it to Andre Ward.

His opinion on how he thinks the fight between Carl Froch and Lucian Bute will play out:

I have sparred with Carl Froch before, so I know that hes a very good fighter and that hes strong. I think its going to be a very good fight, and Im just going to be a fan and watch it that night because I know its going to be a very good fight.

Regarding who he would view as a tougher challenge: Andre Ward or Lucian Bute:

I think Bute being a lefty and Andre Ward I think is just a tough fight for anybodyeither of those guys, because they are the elite in this division. I think they both bring different strengths, and I couldnt actually sit here and pick one because they both are just as dangerous. Andre Ward has proven hes the better one because he has beaten the better opposition, but if they fight each other one day it could go either way.

His views on the main event matchup between Sergio Martinez and Matthew Macklin:

I think its going to be a very good fight. Matthew Macklin is a very good fighter. Sergio Martinez is a pound-for-pound fighter. Hes very talented. I think its going to be a great night for boxing.

On what fans can expect from him when he faces off against Don George:

Oh its going to be a great fight! Like I said with Donovan George, me knowing how much this fight means to me I also know it means a lot to him as well. So hes going to be prepared. Im going to be 100% prepared. Hes never been in a fight thats not entertaining and all of my fights have been entertaining, so its definitely going to be a war! Its going to be entertaining. Its going to be a fan friendly fight. Like I said before, its going to be a good night for boxing with my fight and Sergio Martinezs fight as well.

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For those interested in listening to the Edwin Rodriguez interview in its entirety, it begins approximately fifty minutes into the program.

RIGHT CLICK and 'SAVE AS' TO DOWNLOAD EPISODE #161

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Article posted on 17.03.2012



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