|David Rodriguez: “I am a legit contender!”
Interview by Benny Henderson Jr., Doghouse Boxing (Mar 18, 2009)
This past Saturday night from Torreon, Mexico, undefeated heavyweight David Rodriguez 31-0 (29) took another step towards a world heavyweight title shot by defeating tough Argentina native Manuel Alberto Pucheta 23-4 (17) in seven rounds to garner the vacant NABA heavyweight title.
Rodriguez, a local of El Paso, TX, jumped the border for the third time looking for a fight, and from all reports as well as from his own mouth, was in a heated battle for seven rounds until stopping the whole hearted Pucheta with a vicious flurry to gain the strap.
With nearly twelve years in the sport of professional boxing, Rodriguez who is known for his fiery fists has made short work out of most of his prey, tallying up twenty-nine knock out victories in thirty-one fights, twenty-four of his opponents never made it out of the first round.
But all though unblemished in his career, Rodriguez has faced criticism from all ends of the spectrum, but now the thirty-one year old banger feels he is silencing the Nay Sayers, and soon will have his world title shot to completely hush all his detractors.
In this exclusive interview conducted by Doghouse Boxing, Rodriguez speaks out on his recent victory, the future, and even throws out a few names in the mix, enjoy.
Benny Henderson Jr.: This past weekend you earned the NABA heavyweight title, what are your thoughts on winning the strap?
David Rodriguez: I am more satisfied than anything, especially with my win, I just feel accomplished in a sense, I finally took another step which id another mile stone, it is a big one, I feel like I am about half way there to my ultimate goal of becoming a world champion. It is a great feeling.
BH: I know throughout the years that you and I have spoke on and off the record, you were discouraged with some of your setback, whether due from injury or outside issues. Winning this title, does it make it all worth your while?
DR: Yeah, it does because I know there is light at the end of the tunnel, it is like I just keep moving forward it shows that your dreams do come and true and I can make this thing happen. It gives me more motivation, things are so grim, and I feel like I have accomplished something.
BH: From the reports that I have read and from you and I speaking off the record, (Insert name) sounded like a real tough cat, what do you think about this guy now?
DR: I give him all the credit in the world, every fighter that I have fought I give then credit, this guy was a tank, he was tough I thought I could of got him out a little earlier, but he gave me a good fight and my hats20are off to him. Nothing but respect to him, I knocked him out sensationally, but I have the most utmost respect for the man.
BH: Would you count this fight as being your toughest to date?
DR: I have been boxing a long time, in the gym the ring no matter what I have had some tough fights, but definitely he is probably the toughest fight thus far in my career. He was a very durable guy and hit very hard, he was not going to go down, he had a lot of heart and I hit him with some really good shots, he was just a game fighter. I had to suck it up a bit, when I came out that seventh round an knocked him out I had to dig deep, so I give him all the credit in the world.
BH: You are in Houston, TX now, just wrapped up a charity event, what was it for?
DR: It was an event for the Iraq war veterans that happened tonight, I had a really good time, I got to meet some people and it was for a good cause. I try to donate my time to the community, whenever I can do God’s work.
BH: When you see the men and women coming back from war and from what they went through, I think we have it easy at times.
DR: Yes, I do to, when they come back, with the economy and everything there are a lot of things out there to make people depressed, when I see somebody like a veteran from Iraq with their legs blown off, or their arms, they have to live with that the rest of their lives. I think how they have to change their whole life, and you see people walking around with everything and living life with their arms and legs, and doing nothing, it makes you stop and think when the human spirit is really tested you can accomplish anything, I see these people wanting to love life, there is non reason for people to be depressed, there are people out there who have even more reasons to be depressed and they are trying to love life. You know what I am saying, I mean they are trying to live life to the fullest and they have every reason to give up, and here we are taking things for granted, it just brings me back down to earth. It is a reality check.
BH: Now that you hold a title, it should move you up20in the rankings, maybe even the possibility of a top fifteen ranking, a solidified contender, no sense in taking a back step, so give me three names, whether they be world champions or contenders, give me three names that interest David Rodriguez and why?
DR: Klitschko, Valuev and Klitschko, (laughs), those are the guys, I think about them all the time as I get closer and closer to a title shot, I am a step closer now. Whoever they put in front of me next I will fight but my ultimate goal is one of those guys.
BH: Let’s say your next call was a fight with either of the three named above, would you take it?
BH: Would you be willing to go to Europe and fight these guys?
DR: We would have to meet somewhere in the middle man, I do not know about that. (Laughs) I will be honest, I have been pretty smart in my career, and I know my time is coming, because I am not on my time, but God’s time. To me I feel ultimately I will get a title shot, so would I be willing to sacrifice and go over to their country and fight them with everything being against me, I don’t know. If you want the truthful answer I would have to think about it very hard.
BH: When can we expect you back in the ring?
DR: Right now I am going to take a couple of weeks off and recharge my battery and relax, and think about the things I did wrong and the things I did right, I should be back in the ring within the next two to three months.
BH: What do you want to say to the fight world?
DR: I think I overcame adversity, I think I shut up a lot of my critics, the people who hated on me, knocking a guy out in the seventh round and digging deep to do it I think proved a lot to my critics. I think I am becoming more of a legit contender. I am answering all the questions with exclamation marks. I am being more and more proven, I am a legit contender and I think people should take me seriously.
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