Rodriguez vs Lopez Fight Card Main Event Preview



Rodriguez vs Lopez Fight Card Main Event Preview

Rodriguez vs Lopez fight card is one day away. Former world champion Emmanuel Rodriguez (22-2-0, 13 KOs) of Puerto Rico is set to take on a formidable contender, Melvin Lopez (29-1-0, 19 KOs) of Nicaragua in a Premier Boxing Championship event for the vacant 118-pound IBF Bantamweight World Championship.

This event is set for Saturday, August 12, 2023, at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland.

The fight will be broadcast live on Showtime at 9 PM ET / 6 PM PT.

Emmanuel Rodriguez

He looked confident at the Thursday presser. Amanda Westcott photo

Both fighters rightfully feel deserving of the opportunity to be fighting for a World Championship and are determined to bring the bantamweight title back to their homelands. Let’s take a deeper look into why each fighter is confident that they will be the next IBF Bantamweight Champion of the world.

Emmanuel Rodriguez Tops The Rodriguez vs Lopez Fight Card

Emmanuel Rodriguez finds himself in a similar situation as he previously won the vacant IBF Bantamweight belt back in 2018 against Paul Butler (26-1-0).

He was successful in his first title defense against Jason Moloney (17-0-0) in a twelve-round split decision. In his second title defense, Rodriguez would eventually lose by knockout in the second round to Naoya Inoue (17-0-0), who is widely recognized as a top-tier pound-for-pound champion.

Manny Rodriguez is determined to regain his place as world champion to join his peer group of world champions from Puerto Rico. Although Emmanuel Rodriguez is thirty-one years old, and six years older than his opponent Melvin Lopez, he feels that he has an advantage in experience.

“I’m more mature and experienced now than I was when I first won the title”, Rodriguez stated in the PBC pre-fight press conference on Thursday, August 10, 2023.

Emmanuel Rodriguez is also confident that he is the best opponent that Melvin Rodriguez has ever faced. His ring resume is definitely stronger than Lopez’s at the moment given the level of opponents he has fought in Naoya Inoue, Gary Antonio Russell, and Jason Moloney.

Melvin Lopez Tops the Rodriguez vs Lopez Fight Card

Melvin Lopez is going into this fight very confident.

He is currently on a hot streak of eight victories with seven ending in a knockout. Although Melvin Lopez and Manny Rodriguez will step into the ring at the same size in height and weight, Lopez holds a two-inch reach advantage.

Lopez also has a possible advantage of youth, being that he is 25 years old and has sustained less damage in the ring than his opponent Rodriguez who is age 31.

In his most recent fight, on December 11, 2022, Melvin Lopez won a split decision against Jobert Alvarez (20-3-2) in a ten-round bout.

Melvin Lopez

Melvin Lopez looks chill at Thursday presser. Photo by Amanda Westcott

Although this fight ended Lopez’s seven-fight knockout streak, it was a good ring experience and preparation for this upcoming bout against Emmanuel Rodriguez.

Jobert Alvarez has a similar fighting style to Manny Rodriguez, which gives Melo Lopez confidence that he can be successful against an athletic boxer.

“I’m not gonna guarantee a knockout. I’m an animal that hunts for his prey. I’m gonna try to get him where I want and whatever happens, happens,” Lopez said of the Rodriguez vs Lopez fight card main event in the pre-fight press conference on Thursday.

Styles Makes Fights

Rodriguez is a boxer by nature, who usually fights in a range that allows him to throw effective counterpunches. In his last fight, Emmanuel Rodriguez out-pointed Gary Antonio Russell (19-1-0) in a 10th-round technical decision due to an accidental headbutt from Russell.

Before the accidental headbutt, Manny Rodriguez had no problem timing Gary Antonio Russell with countershots throughout the fight. He will likely use this same approach to outbox a young and confident Melvin Lopez that likes to apply pressure and come forward when possible.

Emmanuel Rodriguez possesses more hand speed and athleticism than any of Melvin Lopez' past opponents which makes this fight a huge step up for Lopez in both skill set and experience.

Lopez can fight out of both stances but does most of his work as a southpaw, which could present some problems to Rodriguez on the Rodriguez vs Lopez fight card.

Gary A Russell

Gary A Russell looks ultra confident. Photo by Amanda Westcott

Lopez uses a good jab to set up power shots that usually hurt his opponents early in fights. Each of his seven most recent knockout victories ended in five rounds or less. It is also important to note that Saturday, August 12, 2023, will be Melvin Lopez’s first twelve-round fight.

The dynamics of this bout make for an interesting matchup. Emmanuel Rodriguez is an orthodox boxer that brings experience to the ring. Not just due to him being the older fighter, but because he is a former world champion that has shared the square circle with some of the best fighters in the bantamweight division.

Melvin Lopez may not have the ring experience that Rodriguez has, but he boxes patiently to set up effective punch combinations which is a sign of maturity. Saturday night we will see if he is ready to steal the spotlight and be recognized as one of the best 118-pound fighters in the world.

Rodriguez vs Lopez Fight Card Info

Don’t miss the action as this Premier Boxing Champions event will begin at 9 PM ET / 6 PM PT on Saturday, August 12, 2023. Showtime is the platform.