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David Rodriguez - “This comeback is not for glory, but for so much more” - Doghouse Interview
By "Big Dog" Benny Henderson Jr., Dog House Boxing (Oct 7, 2015)

David Rodriguez
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After announcing his retirement and stepping away from the sport of boxing more than a year ago, and having time to reflect on his life, career, and more, the former heavyweight contender David Rodriguez 36-2 (34 KO’s) has decided to lace up the gloves and give it one more go.

The El Paso native embarked on a journey of destruction, from 1998, to 2011, the Mexican/American nick named, “Nino” destroyed most of his competition before the middle rounds, only to be taken to the bell twice in thirty-six fights.

In early 2012, David was the victim of a brutal knife attack which nearly took his life, and in his opinion, took his career. Because from there, ring wise, it was downhill for Rodriguez. “The traumatic incident from getting my throat slit open and all most dying. I never had time to cope with it or put it behind me,” David told Doghouse Boxing. “I jumped back in the ring really fast against Wilson and Ochieng, I was not prepared.”

In December of 2013, after fourteen years of boxing, sixty-five rounds, thirty-six wins, thirty-four knocks outs, it would seem as if the Rodriguez victory train would continue steam rolling his opponents as Davis took on heavy handed Darnell Wilson. But Wilson, who was coming off five consecutive losses, upset Rodriguez in six rounds. Seven months later, in what many thought would be a successful return to the ring, for his hometown fans, was his most upsetting moment in the ring, with a shocking first round loss to Raymond Ochieng. Rodriguez would call it a career after the loss. And spend the past year traveling from city to city, from event to event campaigning to raise awareness against bullying. But recently on social media, expressed his interest in returning to the ring, but many may question why?

“The main thing for me, I needed time away from everything.” David explained. “I did not give myself time to get over that. I needed a year off from all of boxing. I needed to take a break from boxing, the critics, from the people who were putting pressure on me to perform. I needed to the let the dust settle, breathe some clean air and soul search.”

David, who spent pretty much all his career with one manager to guide him to the top, is now working with Ivalo Gotzev, who has guided the career of former heavyweight title holder Samuel Peter. “I spoke with Ivalo Gotzev and he set out a sound plan for a comeback. I liked it so I have decided to comeback. I like everything about Ivalo; I believe he is a right fit for me.” For eleven years now I have known David on a personal level, from boxing to charity events we have had some memorable moments. And the one thing we both can agree on is his critics, who have been unrelenting throughout his career. And I asked David, “you and I have been doing this for eleven years now. We both know that everybody has critics. You seem to have more than normal, why is that?”

David begins to giggle a bit, and responds, “I know bro, but I am not coming back for them. I am not coming back for anybody but myself. This is not for glory, this is not for fame, this is for me. So I don’t give a sh*t what anybody else thinks about it.” Rodriguez even went into more detail on the subject of harsh criticism. “This is not about what others think, this is about what I think. The old me would have cared what others think, the new me, no. Either A. They have not been in the ring, or B. they are just hating, most likely my competition anyways.”

When asked about the current situation of the heavyweight division, David speaks candidly, “I think it is lacking excitement. I think we have sound fighters, just no exciting styles. I think that has been a problem for years. Ask who the heavyweight champion of the world is, most people could not tell you. That should tell you a lot.”

David goes into a little depth on the American WBC title holder Deontay Wilder, “now we have an American champion again, he is boring to watch as well. There are some guys who can be champions, but nothing the people are drawn too.”

What does David Rodriguez have left to offer the heavyweight division?

“That remains to be seen, I cannot answer that just yet. We have not gone into training camp yet. This is a work in progress, anybody who does not want to come on board I am fine with it, and I am not asking anybody too. I believe I have something to offer, from my heart and my soul, this is my journey.”

Although David is preparing to return to the ring, an exact date cannot be pinpointed at this time, “we are looking at this year. This is a process. I am looking at this differently than before, I am doing this for myself, and I need this for myself.”

But whenever Rodriguez is ready to return to the ring, he has this to say about it, “I am going to give this my 100% absolute best. I feel I am with the right people; my dream is still to win a heavyweight championship. But I know it is a step by step process. We will see where I am at in two or three fights.”

David has had a great amount of success in the ring, and he feels his last two outings was not his best efforts, nor the fighter he truly is. And although some may believe David has something to prove in the ring, to the fight world and even himself, this is David’s honest take on it all. “This is not about me proving something to myself; this is more of a spiritual type of journey. I want to go out the way I want too.”

To be continued…

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