This Saturday night live on ESPN+, the Unified Super Lightweight Champion Jose Ramirez (25-0) will be defending his WBC and WBO titles against Viktor Postol (31-2) from the Ukraine.
Although this will be the fight that most will be watching closely, Top Rank has loaded the undercard with some of their younger talent, led this weekend by rising star Elvis Rodriguez (8-0-1).
This has been a challenging year for us all especially the fighters who rely on gyms and sparring to stay in shape. Elvis Rodriguez did not let the pandemic get the best of him as he was eager to show the brass at Top Rank that he was ready for that extra promotional push in order to get to the next level.
Elvis started the year with a TKO victory in February over Kaylyn Alfred (4-2-1) but then found himself without a fight due to the mandatory quarantine period. Top Rank was first out of the gate in June with their boxing series from “The Bubble” at the MGM and Elvis patiently waited for his opportunity.
Leading up to Independence Day weekend, Elvis was placed on the card against Danny Murray (5-3), scoring a knockout that came from a hard right jab.
This knockout gained the attention of the boxing public and would push Top Rank to book him on a show as soon as possible.
That date came nineteen days later when he fought Dennis Okoth (4-3-1) and knocked him out with a straight left hand through the guard. This knockout also made its rounds through the social media-sphere as the opponent was the subject of many memes throughout the internet. There was significant buzz and the boxing world was now ready to see more of Elvis Rodriguez.
Top Rank went ahead and gave the fans what they wanted so they have placed Elvis on the undercard of Ramirez versus Postol. Although an opponent has not been officially announced as of yet, it looks as though Elvis will be facing Cody Wilson (9-2) from West Virginia. Being on this card is justbanother step in the right direction for Team Rodriguez, who have big goals for 2021.
What can we expect from the twenty-four year old on Saturday night? For those that haven’t seen him fight, you will see a disciplined southpaw with great footwork and real power in both hands.
Freddie Roach is his trainer and he has been saying it since last year that he believes Elvis will be a world champion in the future. I believe Freddie because I’ve watched Elvis with my own eyes and you can just tell that he has all of the tools to become a special fighter. He was part of my “Class of 2020” article I wrote last November and he has not disappointed.
Not looking too far ahead but I have a feeling that when the year comes to an end within the next few months, people will be looking to see Elvis Rodriguez in the “Prospect of the Year” conversations whether through ESPN or any other outlet. Looking into the future of the Super Lightweight division, it seems like the timing will be right for the young Rodriguez to position himself for a title shot within the next two years.
Elvis' manager Benjamin Lieblein told NYF that Team E-Rod has definitive plans. “We want prospect of the year and will fight whoever we have to to get it. I don't believe there is a 140 pound fighter on the planet who even comes close to Elvis' talent. It's frustrating that they keep putting these bigger guys in front of us but I think it's good preparation for when we eventually move up. We are looking to unify the division much quicker than people think. Ideally, we would like to fight for a world title next year, whether it's Jose Ramirez or Josh Taylor. If Teofimo, Ryan Garcia, Devin Haney or Gervonta Davis makes the mistake of moving up, we will deal with them in emphatic fashion. But first things first. Prospect of the year 2020!”
Team Rodriguez isn't playing around and on Saturday night, if you see a fighter posing as if he had a guitar after a fight, chances are you missed a highlight reel knockout from a young fighter who is quickly making his way to the top.