Edwin Rodriguez ready to replace Dirrell to face Sjekloca for vacant WBC 168lb title

WORCESTER, Mass. (May 14, 2012) - Undefeated super middleweight contender Edwin "La Bomba" Rodriguez is ready, willing and able to replace No. 1 contender Anthony Dirrell, who was recently injured in a motorcycle accident, and fight No. 2 rated Nikola Sjekloca for the vacant World Boxing Council ("WBC") 168-pound title.

Sjekloca and Dirrell, who is out of action for a reported six months, were ordered to fight for the WBC title, after Andre Ward was declared "Champion in Recess."

"This is why I signed with Lou DiBella," Rodriguez said from Andy Lee's training camp where he is sparring with the Irish middleweight contender. "It's my time and I'm ready to replace Dirrell against Sjekloca. If anybody can get this opportunity for me it's Lou."

The 27-year-old Rodriguez (21-0, 14 KOs), a native of the Dominican Republic who lives in Worcester (MA), has been showcased on HBO, three times on ShoBox, and featured twice on ESPN. In his last five fights, he has beaten opponents with a combined record of 83-7-2, including three world-rated fighters (Don George, Aaron Pryor, Jr. and James McGirt), as well as unbeaten National amateur champion Will Rosinsky).

"We're ready for the best but it looks like Ward's moving up in weight and (Lucian) Bute's tied-up with (Carl) Froch," Rodriguez' manager Larry Army noted. "Right now, though, Edwin has earned a world title shot and we're confident he's ready to fight and beat Sjekloca."

Sjekloca (24-0, 7 KOs), a 33-year-old Serbian who lives in Montenegro, is the reigning WBC International super middleweight champion. However, he has fought only once outside of Montenegro and Serbia, in 2010 against 8-24 Artem Vychkin in a win by six-round decision. The lone opponent of note Sjekloca has fought is four-time world title challenger and former European champion, Khoren Gevor, who lost a close 12-round decision to Sjekloca last year.

Rodriguez, who cracked The Ring Magazine world ratings last week at No. 10, is ranked No. 3 International Boxing Federation ("IBF"), No. 5 by the WBC, #8 World Boxing Association ("WBA") and #13 World Boxing Organization ("WBO").

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Argentina WSB Franchise launched for 2012-2013 season

Lausanne, Switzerland, 15 May 2012 - Dr Ching-Kuo Wu, AIBA President and WSB Board Chairman, and Mr Osvaldo Bisbal, President of the Argentinean Boxing Federation, signed a WSB Franchise Agreement for Argentina that gave birth to a new World Series of Boxing Franchise and established the principles of the country's involvement in the upcoming AIBA Professional Boxing (APB) program.

In the press conference held at the Argentinean Boxing Federation Headquarters, Dr Wu faced dozens of media all excited about the arrival of these revolutionary projects in South America. They were all eager to get details about these two AIBA programs and were excited at the possibility of seeing boxers able to compete as professionals and still retain their Olympic eligibility. All media representatives also wanted to know more about the format of the boxing competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

"This is a historic moment for the WSB that arrives for the very first time in South America", stated Dr Wu. "We are delighted to explore this new market and are very grateful to the Argentinean Boxing Federation for its support to our programs. We are convinced that both the WSB and APB have a bright future in this country".

Dr Wu also took the opportunity to meet with the National Olympic Committee President, Mr Gerardo Werthein, who had expressed a keen interest in supporting both the WSB and the development of the sport of boxing in Argentina. "Only the very best boxers should go to the Olympic Games and the WSB and APB will prepare the world's top boxers for that". An opinion shared by Mr Claudio Alberto Morresi, Sports Secretary of Argentina, who also met with AIBA representatives to thank them for bringing these revolutionary projects to the country.

The Argentinean WSB Franchise will enter the competition for the upcoming 2012-2013 season while APB will begin in the Fall of 2013.


The Elite Heat Boxing Team is made up of an extremely special group of inner city kids who have chosen the sport of boxing as their focus and have obtained monumental success on a national level. Based out of the Elite Heat Boxing Gym in Newark NJ, the kids who make up “the team” can be seen on a daily basis honing their craft with the dedication and drive rarely seen in any athletes other than the most successful world champions on the planet. Their days start at the crack of dawn where these kids are literally doing road work with the vigor and passion that it takes to be a champion. We are talking about 8 year olds – 14 year olds that have made the commitment to focus their energy on something positive, stay off the streets & in addition to their intense training regimen they are required to attack their school work with the same dedication and intensity.

In 2011 The Elite Heat Boxing Team had 5 Team members win National Championships at the Junior Golden Gloves Tournament in Mesquite Nevada at The Casablanca Sports Complex. This unprecedented level of success was the culmination of all the hard work and sacrifice that these kids put in for a year leading up to the National’s. This year “The Team” is looking to improve upon last year’s results and aim to have 17 Team member’s win National Championship’s at the Junior Golden Gloves in July 2012.

Between the 17 Team Member’s, coaches & chaperones, there are many airline tickets, uniforms, equipment, hotel rooms, meals, rental vans and entrance fees that need to be paid for. I cannot think of a better, more positive cause to donate to. I am asking you to look into your hearts and open up your wallets to assist these special kids in their quest to become National Champions. The truth is whether they win or lose at the Junior Golden Gloves in July, all these kids are already champions. The courage, discipline and honor they display on a daily basis to get to this point is truly remarkable. Please join The Elite Heat Boxing Team as a sponsor/donor, it feels good to be a part of the winning team!

(Please contact Mr. Vito Mielnicki at 973-738-3982 or via email at to make your much appreciated contribution to The Elite Heat Boxing Team)


Article posted on 15.05.2012

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