The “New and Improved” Edwin Rodriguez
It wasn’t long ago that Edwin Rodriguez was one of the hottest super middleweight prospects in America but after a couple of sloppy performances and a downright disappointing showing against Aaron Pryor Jr., it was time for a change. So trainer Peter Manfredo Sr. is out and Ronnie Shields is in. This Saturday night, Rodriguez will take a big step back in competition as he faces Chris Traietti, 10-2 (6).
It’s hard to think much will be learned from this mismatch. It’s just a chance for Rodriguez to start practicing some of the new techniques of a new trainer. The real question is, has Rodriguez hit his ceiling or will the change in trainer allow him to reach the next level? I tend to believe he has hit his ceiling but in the end, only time will tell.
Hank Lundy and 2008 Olympian Demetrius Andrade Featured on “Friday Night Fights”
Junior middleweight Demetrius Andrade makes a big move up in competition as he faces Grady Brewer, who’s coming off one of the biggest wins in his career, upsetting Fernando Guerrero. Andrade has traded trainers this year and not looked all that good in recent outings, so it is quite a risky move putting him in with a veteran such as Brewer. Perhaps Andrade needs good competition to showcase his talent but my gut tells me this might not turn out well for the 2008 Olympian.
Philly lightweight Hank Lundy was a rising star and was soundly beating John Molina in July 2010 when he left his chin out a bit too much backing up and a Molina right hand sent him down in a heap. Lundy recovered briefly but three rounds later in the 11th, Molina caught him again, forcing the stoppage. Lundy wasted little time getting back in the ring, winning a decision in Canada over Omri Lowther before management issues sidelined him until this April when he defeated Patrick Lopez.
Now Lundy looks to get back in the lightweight picture on ESPN2 Friday as he faces former champion David Diaz. Since his loss to Molina, Lundy has been in a must-win situation every fight. This fight is no different and expect Lundy’s hand speed to carry him to another decision win.
Mikey Perez Back in New York
I rarely compliment Golden Boy Promotions for their handling of young fighters. Too often, East Coast prospects are developed in empty arenas on PPV undercards or half-filled arenas on HBO undercards but Mikey Perez of Newark, NJ is developing a fan base by fighting where there are people that want to see him. What a concept! After three fights in Puerto Rico, where he received great fan support, he’s back home in the New York area, this time in the Bronx, to again headline “Solo Boxeo” on Telefutura.
Perez will no doubt move to 14-0-1 (7) as he faces 7-3 (3) Miguel Rodriguez, also of New York. At just 21 years old, Perez has great tools and remains an East Coast fighter to keep a close eye on.
Amir Mansour Headlines Delaware Card at Dover Downs
At 14-0 with 11 knockouts to his credit, Amir Mansour of Wilmington, Delaware seems to be building the résumé of a promising heavyweight prospect. The problem? He is 39 years old. Mansour was a promising prospect in 2001 when he was convicted of drug possession. Caught up in the frenzy of America’s “drug war,” Mansour spent eight years in a federal prison but he also earned a college degree while incarcerated. After his release last year, is 5-0, all by knockout.
This Friday he’ll face Dominic Quinn, who, as Larry Merchant would say, “is one meaningful win away from having a meaningful win.” It does represent a decent step for Mansour, who has little time to waste in becoming relevant among the heavyweights.
Around the East:
Youngstown, Ohio – Bob Cene Park
Both Jake Giuriceo and Miguel Gonzales were victorious in action in nearby Struthers, Saturday night. Giuriceo outpointed the now 6-3-4 (5) Dominican Ramesis Gil, while Gonzales defeated trial horse Tyrone Harris, 24-8 (16). Harris has been in the ring with some tough competition and managed to drop Gonzales, 19-2 (14), in the seventh round of their eight-round bout. The win was Gonzales’ thirteenth straight.
Pittsburgh, PA - Rivers Casino
Local favorite lightweight Monty Meza Clay tallied his 31st win as he stopped Florida’s Carlos Rivera, 16-10-2 (5), in the sixth round of a scheduled eight-rounder. Cruiserweight Andres Taylor did not have the problem I predicted he might against Mike Alderete, easily outpointing the New Mexico native over six rounds.
Philadelphia, PA – Harrah’s Casino, Chester
Despite several last-minute setbacks, the show went on for Joey Eye Promotions as lightweight Victor Vasquez scored an eight round majority decision over Angel Rios in the main event. Lightweight Angel Ocasio improved to 6-0 beating Michigan Rasool Shakoor and light heavyweight Anthony Ferrante forced William Prieto to retire after just one round.
Disgrace of the Week
Pennsylvania heavyweight Travis Kauffman, knowing this bout would not be sanctioned in his home state, will face 45-year old Bert Cooper in Virginia Beach this Saturday, where the Virginia commissioner is all too happy to approve garbage like this.
Disgrace from Last Week
Promoter Gary Shaw making a mockery of boxing and himself by promoting Kevin Ferguson (Kimbo Slice). Complete buffoonery. Shaw loses Tim Bradley and Alfredo Angulo and recovers by signing a sideshow freak.