Denzil Stone – Atlantic City
Having underwhelmed during his last performance in 2011 against Will Rosinsky, undefeated super middleweight contender Edwin Rodriguez boxed superbly in his first fight in 2012 as he virtually shut Don George out due to his reliance on his trusted jab. Rodriguez won a unanimous decision at the packed Madison Square Garden on the Get Your Irish Up card on Saturday, March 17.
Official verdict: 96-94, 99-91, 97-93; a unanimous decision to Rodriguez.
Boxing with good technique, Edwin Rodriguez out-gunned Don George as early as round one, paying particular attention to the body and connecting with acute right hands to the ribs. By the third, George took control of the centre of the ring while Edwin boxed around the ring’s periphery. George attached the overhand right to the jab and it landed with such force that it made Rodriguez stick his tongue out in an act of kidology. Rodriguez, though, retained a high work-rate and a commanding lead.
With a calculated yet relentless game-plan, Rodriguez kept working George over with an assortment of shots such as crafty uppercuts on the inside, distance-measuring jabs and right hands to the body. None of this, though, made George think twice about taking forward steps as he maintained pressure on Rodriguez. Edwin, though, through all rounds to the midway stage, was just the far, far more active puncher.
In round eight, Rodriguez was producing a jabbing clinic. Trainers in the old times would implore fighters to work their jabs as it not only establishes range, keeps the opponent at bay, if sturdy enough like Edwin’s is then it can accumulate damage and it’s also the punch that begins moves/combinations. This was not lost on Rodriguez… he’d pop the orthodox lead shot into George’s head in a precise manner, doubling up on it, trebling up, then, when the opportunity presented itself to land the right hand over the top – he’d connect.
George fought more aggressively in the tenth and final round. He sought to rough La Bomba up but, despite his astonishing knockout ratio, he lacked the lights-out power to wobble Rodriguez’s legs let alone put him on his seat. Whilst Rodriguez appeared to out-work, out-throw and out-land George in each of the ten rounds, the judges at ringside had it slightly closer, yet Edwin was still – rightly – awarded a unanimous decision win.
With victory, Rodriguez moves closer to a world title shot in the super middleweight division and enhances his record to 21-0-0, 14ko. George, meanwhile, moves down to 22-2-1, 19ko.