Prospect watch: Rodriguez back in action on Feb. 8th


Prospect watch: Rodriguez back in action on Feb. 8th

Press Release: Two-time national amateur champion Edwin Rodriguez (1-0) of Worcester, Mass. returns to the ring February 8, 2008 in a four-round middleweight bout in Boston. The opponent for the 22-year-old Rodriguez is Fitzgerald Johnson (1-2) of Asheboro, N.C.

The 6-foot Rodriguez is coming off a first-round knockout of Samuel Ortiz Gomez (0-4) on January 26th in Mansfield, Mass. Rodriguez won the USA Boxing national championship for 2005 and the Golden Gloves national championship for 2006, both at 165 pounds.

“I had said I wanted to take him (Gomez) out in the first round, and I did,” said Rodriguez. “But I’m not the type to make those kind of predictions before every fight. Just for that first one.
“I just want to keep learning, and winning and moving toward my goal of one day being a world champion,” said Rodriguez.

“I respect Fitzgerald Johnson, just like I respect every person who steps through the ropes,” said Rodriguez. “But that doesn’t mean that I’m not thinking about getting the win.” The 22-year-old Johnson has a record of 1-2 with one knockout.

Rodriguez, who has lived in Worcester since arriving in the United States from his native Dominican Republic during 1998, considered competing for a spot on the 2008 U.S. Olympic team, but the premature birth of twins, Edwin Jr. and Serena Lynn, changed his priorities. Stephanie Rapa, Edwin’s fiancee and mother of the twins, is a graduate of Holy Cross with a degree in political science and has been accepted by the Western New England School of Law.

Rodriguez also has attended college, Quinsigamond Community College. While training and the babies take too much time for college now, Rodriguez keeps his mind sharp with chess, a passion of his since middle school. He always keeps a board handy and is constantly engaged in at least a dozen on-line tournaments.

“I’m more certain than ever that Edwin will be a world champion,” says his manager, Larry Army, a Worcester attorney and businessman. “He has the natural ability, an amazing capacity and desire to learn and improve and an attitude and work ethic that is unparalleled. I believe he truly is the future of the middleweight division.”

“Dedication, discipline, determination, those are the ‘3 Ds’ I learned from my mother (Minerva), dad (Octavio) and amateur trainer (Carlos Garcia),” says Rodriguez. “Together, they can put you over the top and make and keep you a champion. But you have to have the basic skills and then sharpened them in order to get in position to fight for a title in the first place. I believe I have all these elements.”