Edwin Rodriguez, who campaigned at 168 to decent heights and then 175, has graduated to cruiserweight. The Massachusetts native, living in Texas, entered the ring at Barclays Center Saturday with a 30-2 mark.
E-Rod took on 16-6-3 Mitch Williams, a Michigan resident who lost to Ryad Merhy and Arsen Goulamirian before bouncing back against 1-5 Michael Sunkett on Dec. 1, 2018.
After ten rounds, we assumed E-Rod would grab a pretty wide win; he'd buzzed Williams a few times, but the Michigan boxer showed a solid chin and heart. The judges saw it thusly: 96-94, 96-94, 98-98-92.
I like the wider card myself…
Rodriguez is one of those guys, not so rare these days, who was fighting infrequently; he fought in 2016, getting stopped by Thomas Williams, once in 2018 vs Melvin Russell (10-1-2) and then scored a UD10 over Lionell Thompso in Feb. 2018.
Edwin now works with Ronnie Shields, for the record.
In the first, we saw the 33 year old ER pop the jab against the lefty, whose muscularity stood out.
He mixed head and body work, and for those wondering, yeah, his frame looked a bit fleshy in his cruiser clash. He was 180 vs Thompson, 198 for Williams, who is 36.
In round two, a left to near the back of the head buzzed Williams. Combos from the ex Mass. resident were fluid, but Williams worked hard, did some decent work inside.
To the third–ER and Williams lagged some in energy, then Rodriguez got to work after going maybe a bit low on Williams. As Williams sagged and awaited a ref pause ER started strafing. Williams took a pounding in that round. On replay, we saw the low blow was just to the gut.
To round five…ER went lefty some, and stayed left-handed. His volume was down big time from the previous round. Back to righty, he got busy and threw bombs late in the round. In the sixth, we saw ER marshaling energy again. He was selective with his output, and same in round seven. Then Williams got a sweet left in, sending note that he wasn't going to lay down.
Williams huffed and puffed his way to his corner and tried to force air in throw his nose. He didn't even get off his stool til a second or so after the round started. In the eight, Williams went down, it was a slip. His heavy muscles felt like leaded armor by now.
To the ninth…ER got warned for throwing a behind the back punch. This was rest round for ER early, then he got some work in, trying to whack out the stubborn Williams. To round ten…two beat dudes looked to stay on their feet and try to keep working enough. Williams had saved some energy for this last gasp. ER wanted a stoppage to cap the night but Mitch's chin was stubborn as hell. We'd go to the cards…
We will see where it goes for Edwin. His career definer to this point is a 2013 loss to Andre Ward. You can't rule out a last chapter run in this division.