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Edwin Rodriguez Now Working With Ronnie Shields

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Undefeated Dominican boxer headlines Broadway Boxing show Aug. 20

 

WORCESTER, Mass. (August 8, 2011) – Undefeated Edwin“La Bomba” Rodriguez, arguably the premier super middleweight prospect in the world, has switched head trainers and now two-time world title challenger Ronnie Shields is his chief second.

Rodriguez, a 26-year-old native of the Dominican Republic, returns on August 20 to fight at home in Worcester (MA) for the third time in as many years, headlining a special edition of Broadway Boxing, presented by DiBella Entertainment, at historic Mechanics Hall against intra-state rival and Iraq War veteran Chris Traietti (10-2, 6 KOs).

Rodriguez’manager, Larry Army, explained the head trainer change: “After Edwin’s third pro fight we switched trainers and went with Peter Manfredo, Sr., but after the McGirt and Pryor fights, Edwin and I talked about things that hadn’t been fixed– balance, wide punching and fighting out of control. So, we decided to make a change and sent Edwin to Houston to start working with Ronnie Shields. We knew that Edwin was more of a boxer as an amateur, but he had become a puncher as a young pro, and we felt he was losing his boxing skills.

“We conducted a two-month search to find the right trainer for Edwin and found him in Ronnie, who refocused Edwin on boxing without compromising his power. We didn’t send a raw prospect to Houston. Edwin had beaten three very good fighters in McGirt, Pryor and (Marcus) Upshaw, as well as veteran Darnell Boone, who had knocked off two undefeated prospects. In the August 20 fight, people are going to see an improved Edwin Rodriguez, but they’ve only been working together for three months, and he’s still a work in progress. He’s going to need an edge against better opponents and Ronnie gives him that edge he didn’t have before.”

Rodriguez (18-0, 13 KOs) is coming off of impressive back-to-back performances in high-profile victories against the sons of great fighters, James McGirt, Jr. and Aaron Pryor, Jr., respectively, on ShoBox: The New Generation and ESPN Friday Night Fights. In his last fight, Edwin suffered a dislocated shoulder during the early rounds from which he is now 100-percent fully recovered.

“I’m listening to somebody who has accomplished so much in boxing,” Rodriguez commented about working with Shields. “He knows what he’s talking about because he’s been there. The mistakes Ronnie may have made, he doesn’t want me to make, and really knows what styles work best against other styles. I feel real good about now going into a fight with several game plans, instead of just one, and being able to adjust during the fight. What I was missing in the past was more than only one game-plan; I made no adjustments during the fight, even if our game-plan wasn’t working.

“Ronnie’s been working on little things with me like blocking punches, proper balance, setting-up shots and using my defensive skills more. Now, I know what to do after hitting the body. When I used to throw a good body shot, I didn’t follow-up with a side-step, move around my opponent, and then throw a left hook upstairs. Not only wasn’t I finishing up after throwing a body shot, I left myself open for counters. I’m turning my shots and working everything off my jab. All of these changes have made a huge difference.”

The Lou DiBella-promoted Rodriguez is presently rated among the top 13 by all major governing bodies in professional boxing: International Boxing Federation (#8), World Boxing Association (#11), World Boxing Council (#13) and World Boxing Organization (#13). The 26-year-old is the reigning WBC USNBC titleholder.

In the past, the highly-regarded Shields worked with superstars such as Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Pernell Whitaker and the late Vernon Forrest. Today, in addition to Rodriguez, Ronnie handles WBA Interim super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux, Erislandy Lara, Kermit Cintron, Jermall Charlo and Mike Lee, to mention some of the more notable boxers.

“Edwin is a good fighter and it didn’t take much to fix the few things that needed fixing,” Shields evaluated his new protégé. “He lacked defense and needed more head movement. He’s tall but fought like he was short. He likes to mix it up –nothing wrong with that – but nobody understood that he has such a great jab. He has a very pleasing style but, since I’ve had him in camp, I’ve tried to convince him that he’ll have a much longer career if he boxes on the outside. So far, he’s been great and he’s getting great sparring with light heavyweight Cornelius White. They have wars in the gym.

“As long as he stays focused and continues doing what he’s supposed to do, Edwin is going to be champion of the world. Timing is everything, and getting the right fights is important. Everybody knows he’s a good fighter, and he’s coming off of a shoulder injury. They’re going to see how good he really is August 20th.”

Edwin started boxing in 2001 and he developed into one of the top amateurs in the United States, compiling a solid 84-9 record, including gold-medal performances in the 2005 USA Boxing National Championships and 2006 U.S. National Golden Gloves Tournament. Rodriguez, who has dual citizenship in the U.S. and Dominican Republic, became the first Massachusetts boxer to win the middleweight title at the Nationals since “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler in 1973.

The Broadway Boxing co-feature showcases the return of former WBA junior middleweight champion Joachim Alcine (32-2, 19 KOs). Also seeing action are a pair of boxers from Traietti’s hometown of Quincy –Rodriguez’ stable-mate junior lightweight Ryan “The Polish Prince” Kielczewski (10-0, 2 KOs) and junior welterweight Gabriel Duluc (1-0, 1 KO). Also scheduled to be in action are welterweight prospect Vincent Arroyo (11-1, 7 KOs), of Amherst, New York, popular, female heavyweight Sonya Lamonakis (5-0, 1 KO), fighting out of New York City, unbeaten prospect Kelvin Price (10-0, 6 KO), and New Haven super bantamweight Luis Rosa (7-0, 5 KOs). All fights and fighters are subject to change.

Tickets for Broadway Boxing are on sale now through DiBella Entertainment, and start at only $35. Main Floor tickets are priced at $55, $75, and $125. Rear Balcony tickets are $35 and $75. Tables for groups of 10 are priced at $1,000. Tickets can be purchased by calling DiBella Entertainment: (212) 947-2577, and more information can be obtained by visiting www.dbe1.com.

Go online to www.edwinrodriguezboxing.comor www.dbe1.com for more information about Rodriguez or the Aug. 20 Broadway Boxing show.

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2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura

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The WBC World Super Featherweight title bout between Francisco Vargas and Takashi Miura came on one of the biggest boxing stages of 2015, as the bout served as the HBO pay-per-view’s co-main event on November 21st, in support of Miguel Cotto vs Saul Alvarez.

Miura entered the fight with a (29-2-2) record and he was making the fifth defense of his world title, while Vargas entered the fight with an undefeated mark of (22-0-1) in what was his first world title fight. Both men had a reputation for all-out fighting, with Miura especially earning high praise for his title defense in Mexico where he defeated Sergio Thompson in a fiercely contested battle.

The fight started out hotly contested, and the intensity never let up. Vargas seemed to win the first two rounds, but by the fourth round, Miura seemed to pull ahead, scoring a knock-down and fighting with a lot of confidence. After brawling the first four rounds, Miura appeared to settle into a more technical approach. Rounds 5 and 6 saw the pendulum swing back towards Vargas, as he withstood Miura’s rush to open the fifth round and the sixth round saw both men exchanging hard punches.

The big swinging continued, and though Vargas likely edged Miura in rounds 5 and 6, Vargas’ face was cut in at least two spots and Miura started to assert himself again in rounds 7 and 8. Miura was beginning to grow in confidence while it appeared that Vargas was beginning to slow down, and Miura appeared to hurt Vargas at the end of the 8th round.

Vargas turned the tide again at the start of the ninth round, scoring a knock down with an uppercut and a straight right hand that took Miura’s legs and sent him to the canvas. Purely on instinct, Miura got back up and continued to fight, but Vargas was landing frequently and with force. Referee Tony Weeks stepped in to stop the fight at the halfway point of round 9 as Miura was sustaining a barrage of punches.

Miura still had a minute and a half to survive if he was going to get out of the round, and it was clear that he was not going to stop fighting.

A back and forth battle of wills between two world championship level fighters, Takashi Miura versus “El Bandido” Vargas wins the 2015 Fight of the Year.

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Jan 9 in Germany – Feigenbutz and De Carolis To Settle Score

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This coming Saturday, January 9th, the stage is set at the Baden Arena in Offenburg, Germany for a re-match between Vincent Feigenbutz and Giovanni De Carolis. The highly anticipated re-match is set to air on SAT.1 in Germany, and Feigenbutz will once again be defending his GBU and interim WBA World titles at Super Middleweight.

The first meeting between the two was less than three months ago, on October 17th and that meeting saw Feigenbutz controversially edge De Carolis on the judge’s cards by scores of (115-113, 114-113 and 115-113). De Carolis scored a flash knock down in the opening round, and he appeared to outbox Feigenbutz in the early going, but the 20 year old German champion came on in the later rounds.

The first bout is described as one of the most crowd-pleasing bouts of the year in Germany, and De Carolis and many observers felt that the Italian had done enough to win.

De Carolis told German language website RAN.DE that he was more prepared for the re-match, and that due to the arrogance Feigenbutz displayed in the aftermath of the first fight, he was confident that he had won over some of the audience. Though De Carolis fell short of predicting victory, he promised a re-vamped strategy tailored to what he has learned about Feigenbutz, whom he termed immature and inexperienced.

The stage is set for Feigenbutz vs De Carolis 2, this Saturday January 9th in Offenburg, Germany. If you can get to the live event do it, if not you have SAT.1 in Germany airing the fights, and The Boxing Channel right back here for full results.

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2015 Knock Out of the Year – Saul Alvarez KO’s James Kirkland

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On May 9th of 2015, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez delivered a resonant knock-out of James Kirkland on HBO that wins the 2015 KO of the Year.

The knock-out itself came in the third round, after slightly more than two minutes of action. The end came when Alvarez delivered a single, big right hand that caught Kirkland on the jaw and left him flat on his back after spinning to the canvas.Alvarez was clearly the big star heading into the fight. The fight was telecast by HBO for free just one week after the controversial and disappointing Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao fight, and Alvarez was under pressure to deliver the type of finish that people were going to talk about. Kirkland was happy to oblige Alvarez, taking it right to Alvarez from the start. Kirkland’s aggression saw him appear to land blows that troubled the young Mexican in the early going. Alvarez played good defense, and he floored Kirkland in the first round, displaying his power and his technique in knocking down an aggressive opponent.

However, Kirkland kept coming at Alvarez and the fight entered the third round with both men working hard and the feeling that the fight would not go the distance. Kirkland continued to move forward, keeping “Canelo” against the ropes and scoring points with a barrage of punches while looking for an opening.

At around the two minute mark, Alvarez landed an uppercut that sent Kirkland to the canvas again. Kirkland got up, but it was clear that he did not have his legs under him. Kirkland was going to try to survive the round, but Alvarez had an opportunity to close out the fight. The question was would he take it?

Alvarez closed in on Kirkland, putting his opponent’s back to the ropes. Kirkland was hurt, but he was still dangerous, pawing with punches and loading up for one big shot.

But it was the big shot “Canelo” threw that ended the night. Kirkland never saw it coming, as he was loading up with a huge right hand of his own. The right Alvarez threw cracked Kirkland in the jaw, and his eyes went blank. His big right hand whizzed harmlessly over the head of a ducking Alvarez, providing the momentum for the spin that left Kirkland prone on the canvas.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez went on to defeat Miguel Cotto in his second fight of 2015 and he is clearly one of boxing’s biggest stars heading into 2016. On May 9th Alvarez added another reel to his highlight film when he knocked out James Kirkland with the 2015 “Knock Out of the Year”.

Photo by naoki fukuda

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