Bethlehem, PA—When Gamalier Rodriguez defends his NABO featherweight championship against Jorge Pazos in the scheduled 10-round main event Saturday evening, Aug. 10, in the Events Center of the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem, it will mark his fourth fight in the United States, his first here in four years and his first-ever on the East Coast..
The Rodriguez-Pazos contest will be on Solo Boxeo Tecate, aired on UniMas. It headlines a seven-bout card. First live fight at 7 pm.
Rodriguez, of Bayamon, Puerto Rico, will be defending the title he won May 18 when he knocked out Alicio Castaneda, of Galveston, TX, in three rounds in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico.
Confident of victory, Rodriguez told soloboxeo.com’s Wilfredo Acevedo Rivera: “I have the discipline and the tools to beat anyone. I’ve never had any kind of vice. I’m hungry to be champion. I know boxing from A to Z. I had 100 fights in amateur boxing. I represented Puerto Rico many times and know what is fighting and what is boxing.”
If he wins impressively, Rodriguez could turn into something of a local hero in Bethlehem with the many Hispanic boxing fans who have been attending fights at the Sands.
Crowds have been strong, and local Hispanic stars such as Ronald Cruz, Jerome Rodriguez, William Miranda and Arturo Trujillo have given fans in the Lehigh Valley plenty to cheer about.
Rodriguez won the vacant NABO title when he overpowered Castaneda, scoring knockdowns in the first and third rounds before the fight was stopped at 1.06 of the third round.
A pro since 2006, the 26-year-old Rodriguez has a record of 21-2-3, 15 K0s. He has not lost a fight in four years, having won 13 in a row since having a technical draw in 2009.
Rodriguez has boxed once in Nevada, twice in California, 10 times in the Dominican Republic and 13 times in Puerto Rico.
As an amateur, Rodriguez was a Puerto Rican national amateur champion in four weight classes: 112, 119, 122 and 125 pounds. He started boxing at the age of 10.
Pazos, 24, of Guamuchil, Sinaloa, Mexico, is coming off a 12-round points loss last Oct. 19 to Orlando Cruz, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, in Kissimmee, FL, for the WBO Latino featherweight championship.
“He’s (Cruz) a boxer who moves too much,” Pazos said. “He knows how to box and he has good legs. I couldn’t get him.”
A pro since 2000, Pazos has a record of 19-5-1, 13 K0s.
The Puerto Rico vs. Mexico rivalry extends to the 10-round welterweight semifinal where Ronald Cruz, of Bethlehem takes on Rodolfo Armenta, of Los Mochis, Mexico.