CAROLINA CRISIS: THIS IS BIGGER THAN YOU By Michael...
Delvin Rodriguez confident he’ll defeat Miguel on Saturday
Delvin Rodriguez (28-6-3, 16 KOs) will be granted the opportunity of a lifetime this Saturday, October 5, in Orlando, FL, when he battles former three-division world champion Miguel Cotto (37-4, 30 KOs). Rodriguez, a native of Danbury, CT, is a fixture on ESPN Friday Night Fights and sells tons of tickets at the Mohegan Sun Casino in his native Connecticut. However, no one within boxing circles had envisioned him to be a top-level fighter competing in some of the biggest fights that can be made.
Cotto vs. Rodriguez will be aired live on HBO, along with the tape-delayed replay of Wladimir Klitschko’s unified world heavyweight championship title defense against undefeated, Alexander Povetkin beginning at 9:45 PM/ET.
Delvin Rodriguez’ luck will change should he somehow find the resolve and the perfect game plan to deal Cotto his third consecutive defeat. Rodriguez has been training hard for two months in preparation for what will be the biggest fight of his life.
“We spent the first two weeks of camp in the Dominican Republic working on strength and conditioning, especially running in the mountains,” Rodriguez said. “For the last [few] weeks we’ve been in Danbury doing the actual training and sparring. ”The two weeks in the Dominican Republic were great for my body and it’s always nice to train at home as I have for this portion of the camp.”
Rodriguez is currently enjoying the peak of his 14 –year career. The WBA #4, WBO #9, IBF and WBC #11-world-ranked contender scored two impressive knockouts on ESPN-broadcast bouts from the Mohegan Sun Casino against George Tahdooahnippah in February and against Freddie Hernandez in May. Rodriguez has established himself as a solid junior middleweight contender and will be looking to pick Cotto apart at the end of his punches.
“I’m taller so it works for me to stay on the outside and keep Cotto on the end of my punches,” Rodriguez said. “I’ve got a longer reach which I intend to use.”
Miguel Cotto is credited for being one of boxing’s most exciting and successful fighters in the last decade. Cotto has won world titles in three separate weight divisions and has fought the biggest names in the sport: Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Antonio Margarito, Zab Judah, Paulie Malignaggi, and Sugar Shane Mosley to complement a Hall of Fame boxing career.
Working under the guidance of Freddie Roach, Pacquaio’s current head trainer, Cotto is determined to show the world that he still has a lot
of fight left from within. Cotto applies a lot of pressure to the body and fights behind a disciplined left jab. Cotto is one of the best in the world and he proved it in his rematch with Margarito in December 2011.
Cotto gave Mayweather the toughest fight of his career in many years by breaking Mayweather and trapping in a corner with body shots, but dropped a decision in May 2012. However, Cotto looked miserable and could have been in better shape against Austin Trout when they fought in November 2012 at Madison Square Garden.
Rodriguez believes that he has the blueprint to fight Cotto.
“It’s also important for me to use combinations in an effective manner,” Rodriguez said. “Keep the pressure, stay aggressive for the entire round and that’s where my conditioning will play a big role.”
Rodriguez added: “I’ve got nothing but respect for Miguel, our paths have crossed a number of times over the years and he’s always been a gentleman. He’s a certain Hall of Famer who earned everything he’s gotten, nothing was handed to him, it’s the perfect test for me.”
Rodriguez is wildly perceived as a tremendous underdog. In fact, should Cotto win it’s very possible that he will fight Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez next year. Alvarez, the former unified WBA/WBC super welterweight champion, just recently lost a widespread majority decision to Floyd Mayweather on September 7th. Everyone will be interested in a potential Cotto vs. Canelo clash at 154.
“That plays no role at all, and I don’t pay attention to what the experts say about who will win,” Rodriguez said. “Just me and him in the ring, just the way we both like it.”
Rodriguez’ ‘chance at the big time’ also has to be attributed to Star Boxing founder Joe DeGuardia. DeGuardia has provided Rodriguez with numerous platforms from New York City’s famed Madison Square Garden to Foxwoods, the Mohegan Sun, Bronx Paradise Theater, Buffalo Run Casino, North Carolina, South Carolina, San Antonio Poland, South Africa, and Canada to name a few. Rodriguez was pushed by DeGuardia with very little interest from HBO and SHOWTIME throughout the years.
Therefore, for Rodriguez to fight Cotto on HBO is a tremendous opportunity. It’s a chance of a lifetime that may never occur again should Rodriguez lose to Miguel on Saturday.
“Delvin shows up like a true professional every time and gives his best each time out,” DeGuardia said. “This has endeared him to boxing fans throughout the world. In addition, he is unfortunately received the short end of the stick on 4 of his 6 defeats. Those majority and split hometown decision losses in Poland and South Africa are disappointing, but did not break him. His record could just as easily be 33-2, and he deserves these opportunities. I am just pleased that we have been able to provide them for him.”
Perhaps the biggest victory of Rodriguez’ career was the night he fought Pawl Wolack in the 2011 ‘Fight of the Year’ on ESPN. The fight was ruled a majority draw, as both men spilled blood – literally. In the rematch, Rodriguez easily coasted to a unanimous decision on the biggest stage of his career underneath the Cotto-Margarito 2 undercard at Madison Square Garden the same year.
Rodriguez isn’t expected to beat Miguel, but he is expected to make a strong account for himself and show the world why he worked so long and deserves the chance to swap gloves with a future Hall of Fame prizefighter.