David Rodriguez Retires from Boxing
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David Rodriguez Retires from Boxing
By "Big Dog" Benny Henderson Jr., Doghouse Boxing (July 25, 2014)

David Rodriguez
David Rodriguez
There comes a point in time in the career of every athlete, when they have to make the decision to hang around a bit longer, or walk away into the sunset when the time is right for them to do so. The decision to call it a day for heavyweight fighter David Rodriguez, came just a little over week ago. Rodriguez, who hails from the Texas border town of El Paso, made his professional boxing debut in December of 1998. After thirty-six consecutive victories, producing thirty-four knock out wins, earning a few minor heavyweight titles, and a near death experience a few years back, Rodriguez’s heavyweight dreams seemingly came to a scratching halt in December of 2013, when he suffered the first loss of his long career. But he decided to fight on.

The eighteenth of this month, it would appear the David would get back on the winning track and resume his heavyweight journey, when he faced Raymond Ochieng in Rodriguez’s hometown of El Paso, a homecoming per say. Instead of getting back into the win column, Rodriguez, as he did to twenty-three of his opponents, was derailed in the first round. Ending the night early for the hometown hero, as well as halting his fighting career for good.

Rodriguez had a respectable career, he never fought for any major heavyweight titles, and will never been in Canastota, but, in his time he did make a name for himself. And that name will carry David far as he steps away from the bang for your buck sport. He also has a huge following of loyal fans, and many of those would like to witness what Rodriguez will do next with his free time.

There are going to be more than a handful who are glad Rodriguez is gone from the sport, along with his following, came the harsh critics, as well as some who just plain hated on the guy.

I myself did not know how to approach the guy when we first conducted our first interview ten years ago. But, right off the bat, we hit it off. Despite being an animal in the ring, Dave was laid back, outspoken, yet, respectable to me. He accidently dropped an F-Bomb, and quickly apologized. I explained to him, it was all good, those words do not bother me, and he went on cussing like a sailor, (now we respect sailors). During the time I have known David, I have seen his generous side, his compassionate side, the charity event we attended in 2007, him visiting the young children stricken with cancer, as well as working with the youth at times. So, all though many of his critics did not like his choice of opposition at times, he used his career to encourage others.

I remember his old manager cussing him a bit for coming out to a Marilyn Manson song, and there are a few stories I cannot tell, (Dave would be embarrassed).

I know David was not the greatest fighter on the planet, he will not rank amongst the elite, but I am honored to call him friend. I would like people to forget about the boxer David Rodriguez, as he stated, that David is no longer, focus on the man, on what he stood for in and out of the ring. He has faults like anybody else, but, he knows he is human. He knows he is not indestructible. I seen the fire and passion for boxing burn out of David’s eyes a long time ago. Although I wish he could have reached the top, the middle was never a bad place to be. I do not believe he was happy with out his career ended, but, he is happy to not have that pressure on his shoulders anymore. Talking to him now, I have high hopes for him out of the ring.

I know many who read this will call this a puff piece, or me a nut hugger, and hey, call it what you will. I just want the readers to know, as a fighter he may have been limited, but, as a man, a child of God, a human on this little rock we call home, the possibilities are countless. As I did in his career as a professional fighter, and now in his journey from the ring, I will support my friend.

David, all though you did not get to fight for the heavyweight crown, where you were going to fly me out and experience it all firsthand, especially the after party, wild women and…I forgive you for that part. Rodriguez retires from the ring, but, his journey elsewhere continues. To be continued…

Email Benny at: crazzedtrucker@aol.com
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