By James Slater: “You know it will be another classic,” Delvin Rodriguez to Dan Rafael when speaking of his upcoming return fight with Pawel Wolak. As fans have probably read or heard by now, 154-pound contenders Delvin Rodriguez and Pawel Wolak will soon treat the viewers with a second instalment of the cracking war they put on on July 15th. The ten-rounder the two put on ended up being scored a draw (no-one really complained about the result afterwards) and now the two gutsy warriors will do it all again on December 3rd – this time on a much bigger, grander stage.
The two will clash on the under-card of Miguel Cotto-Antonio Margarito II (itself an eagerly anticipated return match) inside the legendary Madison Square Garden in New York City. If this wasn’t enough good news for fight fans contemplating buying the $54.95 Pay-Per-View card, ultra-exciting lightweight champion Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios will also be fighting that night, against an as yet unannounced challenger. As great as the main event promises to be, however, and as receptive as the fans will be for the appearance of Rios, it is the Rodriguez-Wolak return that has hardcore fans really excited.
Back in July the two put on a fight so good it will surely be right up there when the 2011 FOTY awards get sorted. The two put everything they had into the fight – a real throwback to the kind of fights that were commonplace back in the 1950s – and the action was spellbinding. Wolak was, by the later rounds, sporting a ludicrously swollen balloon of a right eye; a terrible injury the courageous “Raging Bull” gritted his teeth and fought through. Rodriguez, showing finer skills and a heart a big as that of his aggressive foe, was relatively unmarked yet he too had to dig deep to survive the war.
Often after a great fight that winds up being scored a draw, fans and experts come out and say the result was fitting seeing as no-one deserved to lose. Never in recent months has this been so true than on July 15th. The first classic (can we possibly be on the verge of three epics between Wolak and Rodriguez – if the second fight is as close as the first, maybe we could be!) took place at New York’s Roseland Ballroom and went out live on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights; this time, fittingly, the venue and the T.V coverage will see to it that millions more fans get to see the fight. Also fittingly, the two fighters who gave so much and are willing to do so again, will receive more money this time round.
All we can do now is wish both guys the best of luck in their preparations. The only question is: will Rodriguez-Wolak II steal the show from the main event that night!