Edwin Rodriguez, the classic boxer-puncher

By Tom Donelson, BASN boxing writer
Updated: March 20, 2012
IOWA CITY, IOWA, (BASN)—Sergio Martinez is not officially a Middleweight champion but he is the WBC diamond champion; whatever that means and who really cares. Martinez is the best Middleweight fighter and he showed why last Saturday night as he out fought Matthew Macklin. Macklin showed toughness and this was an even fight going into the second half of the fight. From that point, Martinez took over as he took his game to another level and he showed both boxing skills and power. Chavez Jr. may be the WBC Champion but team Chavez is not anxious for their fighter to challenge Martinez. The Martinez that fought Macklin would simply wipe Chavez out. Martinez is similar to Roy Jones at his peak as his athletic skills allow him to get away with tactics that other fighters will get killed trying. He keeps his hands low and sometimes moves straight back but he does feint beautifully so sometimes one never quite knows where those quick hands will end up.
If Martinez is unorthodox, Edwin Rodriguez is the classic boxer-puncher as he jabs effectively and this sets up his other combination’s. He fights like the textbook says you are suppose to, allowing the jab to set up the rest while throwing punches sharp and straight. He has a variety of punches, jobs, crosses, hooks and uppercuts plus he rarely gets hit with solid shots as his defense is very good as he keeps his hands up to block incoming shots. His bout with Donovan George was typical Rodriguez as he jab and followed up with combinations while he moved just enough to stay out of the way of George’s haymakers. George never truly got off and he was often beaten to the punch. Rodriguez does not have the same athletic skills as Martinez but the difference is that he started his boxing career earlier in his career and was trained in all of the technical skills that will carry him far in his career.
Magomded Abdusalamov is one of those heavyweights that have folks drooling with his power but it is hard to judge him based on his opponents. His previous two opponents were undefeated prospect but one was an overweight cruiserweight and the most recent, he fought the undefeated Jason Pettaway. After the opening minute, it was clear that Abdusalamov was miles ahead in skills and talent. Pettaway had fought weaker opponents and could not match Abdusalamov power. Abdusalamov is undefeated with every victory a knockout victory but this maybe a reflection of his competition. Weak opponents mean a lot of knockouts for a talented fighter but we will never know until he fights similar competition.
Seanie Monaghan is a light heavyweight prospect from what the announcer called the Irish Rivera, Long Beach and he showed solid skills against Eric Watkins, but Watkins showed an inner toughness as he took Monaghan best shots. Monaghan showed solid boxing skills as he mixed his attack, starting with his jab and the hitting the body with vicious shots to go with sharp left hooks and right cross. Like Abdusalamov, it is hard to judge exactly how far Monaghan really is since it is hard to judge his opponent. What Monaghan showed is the right boxing skills and like Rodriguez, solid boxing IQ can serve one well in his career.
If Martinez is at the top of his game, other fighters like Monaghan or Abdusalamov who went into the ring still leave one wondering, are they really as good as their record.