I recently had a chance to speak with light heavyweight contender, Edwin Rodriguez during the 223rd edition of “On The Ropes” boxing radio to talk about his return to the ring. Edwin talked about coming back in a new weight class and what he learned from his loss to Andre Ward. Rodriguez also gave his thoughts on Gennady Golovkin’s dominant middleweight reign and what he thinks would happen in a GGG-Ward bout. Additionally Edwin shared his views on Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao, and the upcoming Hopkins-Kovalev fight. Here is what Edwin Rodriguez had to say.
Jenna J: You fought this past weekend on the undercard of Golovkin vs. Rubio. Can you tell the fans about the opponent that you faced?
Edwin Rodriguez: I faced Azea Augustama, he was a former Olympian from Haiti. He was 17-1, 17-2 now. He was supposed to be a good opponent, a good fight back. It was a lot of fun.
Jenna J: You were showing off a little bit, the fight went all ten rounds. How did you feel getting back in the ring after the time off?
Edwin Rodriguez: I felt great. I wanted to go some rounds and I was able to get that. I was trying to get the knockout but it was like he was playing safe the whole time, running and holding. I was trying to bait him in by dropping my hands and welcome him to throw some shots so I would be able to counter him and try to get a knockout.
It’s pretty difficult trying to knock somebody out who is just on survival mode. That’s why I did a lot of things that I don’t usually do, like messing around a little bit. I had a little bit too much fun, but I was just trying to bait him into opening up so I could land some shots.
Jenna J: Now you’re fighting at 175 lbs. How do you feel fighting at this weight?
Edwin Rodriguez: I felt great, I had no issues and no stress. It was good, I felt strong.
Jenna J: You were coming off of the defeat to Andre Ward. What do you think you have leaned most from that loss?
Edwin Rodriguez: I learned a lot from that loss. In that fight I was really eager, I wanted to win so bad that I tried too hard and that allowed me to get too physical. I wanted to win so bad and I got so into the fight and so into the hype, I was just fighting out of emotion. In this fight I was able to settle down and learn from that and try to stay relaxed — yeah it was way too relaxed, but I just have to find a happy medium.
Fighting a guy like Andre Ward, I learned a lot from it, his style is very different than any other fighter out there. There were a lot of things that I was able to pick up and see. One of the things is when he’s holding you in the inside, he’s not holding you to survive or anything like that, he’s holding you to take advantage and put his hands in a position that is beneficial to him.
Andre does a lot of holding and punching, but it doesn’t seem like he’s doing it. He puts you in a position where both of your arms are tied up and you’re trying to pull out and when you’re trying to pull out, he’s coming around with a left hook. There was a lot to learn from Ward because he’s a fighter that fights different than everybody else.
Jenna J: Gennady Golovkin fought on the same card as you, and many people think that there aren’t any challenges left for him at 160lbs, that the only risk for him out there is Andre Ward. Do you think Andre Ward poses the biggest threat to Golovkin?
Edwin Rodriguez: I believe so because Ward has that style that’s very difficult to find answers to, and by the time you do figure it out, it’s too late. I think that would be a real good fight because Golovkin does bring that kind of power where Ward has to be aware the whole fight. But I think Ward has the style to be able to neutralize Golovkin’s power and outbox him in a twelve round decision.
Jenna J: What do you think about the people who think Floyd Mayweather should go up in weight and fight someone like Golovkin, someone who will be a serious risk to him?
Edwin Rodriguez: I don’t think that Floyd needs to do that, but if he wants to do that, I think it would be a great thing for boxing and it would be a great thing for Mayweather. If he is able to pull that off, I think that he would be the greatest of all time. I don’t think we should ask him to do that, but if he was to do that, that’s greatest of all time material.
Jenna J: A lot of people are upset with Mayweather because he’s not fighting the guys the fans want him to fight. Do you think Floyd owes the fans the Manny Pacquiao fight?
Edwin Rodriguez: I think that Mayweather has been fighting the best opposition there is, other than the Pacquiao fight. I think that fight will happen, I think that it should happen. I don’t think it’s all on Mayweather, I think it’s both sides that gotta come together and put the fight together. It’s a fight that I do want to see as well, but I think that would be an easy fight for Mayweather when it does happen.
Jenna J: Let’s talk about the division you’re competing in, light heavyweight. What do you think about the landscape of it?
Edwin Rodriguez: I think it’s a great weight class. I think that it has a lot of great fighters, Adonis Stevenson being the champion, since he defeated Chad Dawson by knockout, he’s a strong puncher. Hopkins and Kovalev are two really good fighters as well, although Hopkins is older, I think he’s as good as he ever was. The weight class is full of talent. I’m excited to be part of it and I want to fight with those names.
Jenna J: You mentioned Hopkins and Kovalev, those two are set to meet each other in the ring November 8th, who are you picking?
Edwin Rodriguez: I’m picking Hopkins, I think that Hopkins has the tools to be able to neutralize the type of power that Kovalev brings, and Hopkins is really, really smart and I think he will be able to pull it off. I do believe that Kovalev is a great fighter with big power, but I just think Hopkins is too smart, and every time I pick Hopkins to lose he pulls it out, so I’m not doing it again.
Jenna J: Back to yourself Edwin, how soon do you see yourself getting back in the ring?
Edwin Rodriguez: I got hit with a headbutt so I got a small cut, four stitches, but I’m trying to comeback as soon as possible. I’m hoping I get a fight before this year is over, we will see how they feel about it. I’m trying to comeback as soon as possible.
Jenna J: How far do you think you are away from challenging for a title at this weight?
Edwin Rodriguez: I feel I’m ready in one or two fights, I think I will be able to fight a top ten guy and be able to get myself highly ranked by the organizations to put myself in a good position. I got the right people working behind me with Lou Dibella and Al Haymon, I just got to keep winning and get a good opponent in there, look good and get the opportunity and I know they will be able to get it for me if I do my job.