David Rodriguez: "I thank God I’m alive" - "The blood was squirting out like a sprinkler"
By John J. Raspanti, Doghouse Boxing (Jan 6, 2012) Doghouse Boxing
David Rodriguez shows stab wound
Corner David Rodriguez was stabbed.  His blood on the street.
By John J. Raspanti, Doghouse Boxing: "The blood was squirting out like a sprinkler." - David Rodriguez.

Heavyweight contender David Rodriguez has never lost a fight inside the squared circle. Last week, near a pizza restaurant in Scottsdale, Arizona, Rodriguez almost lost more than a fight.

 He came close to losing his life.  

Rodriguez, 34, doesn’t recall all the particulars that led to him being viciously slashed from earlobe to chin.     

 “To be honest, a lot of it's a blur," Rodriguez said."I remember I came out of the club and went across the street to get some pizza. It’s weird, I really don’t remember much of anything except pictures – flashes. I think there were three black guys. There was no warning, nothing. I felt a hard hit against my head and a slice, I looked down and blood is pouring down my neck and shirt. The slash went from my earlobe, down my jaw line, back up under my chin. They tried to go for my jugular. They missed by a half an inch,” he said. 

 A friend of Rodriguez’s witnessed the attack and raced over to help.  Within seconds, his friend was bleeding from a wound to the arm.    

Rodriguez remembers a woman putting a scarf over his head in an attempt to stop the bleeding. The cut would eventually require 100 stitches.   

“I blacked out for a few seconds, but could still hear screaming", said Rodriguez. "The next thing I remember I was in the ambulance. They were trying to stop the blood because the blood was squirting out like a sprinkler.  I was thinking this is it. I didn’t really know what to do. I woke up later after surgery in the hospital. It’s all very vague.” 

 There have been differing accounts of what happened that night, but Rodriguez, though still shocked by the incident, feels lucky.   

 “I’m alive and there’s no nerve damage. The doctor was amazed at that. He told me the knife missed my nerve by a quarter of a centimeter," said Rodriguez. "If that knife hits one of those nerves, my face is paralyzed. I’ll half a scar for a while, but the cosmetic surgeon did such an unbelievable job. Everything should eventually be fine.”  

 Will the cut cause any problems in future fights? 

 “The skin will be fine," he said. "I won’t have a scar in a month in a half. I’m very, very lucky. By the grace of god…I don’t understand why. I’m no better than anybody else. There’s a lot of things going through my mind right now.”  

Though undefeated as a boxer Rodriguez has faced some major setbacks in his career.  

 “Life really is precious man," said Rodriguez. "It’s incredible something like this could happen in a crowd of people. You can’t be running around doing things like this.”

  Rodriguez is confident he can recover quickly from the attack. The affable heavyweight won all three of his 2011 fights by knockout.

  In December 2011, Rodriguez knocked out Byron Polley. The victory was the 36th of his career.

  “I went out there to execute my plan. I knocked him down twice in the first round and in the second it was over, “said Rodriguez.

  His next fight is sceduled for March of this year. The El Paso native has knocked out 34 of his 36 opponents. His goals (championship shot) for 2012  remain the same.   

  “I will fight, Rodriguez said. "I just have to make sure my jaw is heeled correctly I have to feel mentally ready. This has been traumatic. I’m a firm believer that everything happens for some kind of reason. I’m not sure why this happened, but I’m trying to make it a positive. I feel like I learned from this. Things happen and some people don’t survive.”

  Rodriguez wants his attackers caught as soon as possible.

  “Any time you have a problem with someone you may scuffle, and have words, but it blows over and you go back to your lives and families. You kill somebody you take their life from their family and ruin everyone else’s life," he said. "I want these guys caught. People with this mentality can’t be in society. They hurt people, they're animalistic.”

  Despite the brutal attack, Rodriguez reflected on his good fortune.

  “I’m still here man,” he said with a chuckle.

  Yes, he is.
-- Questions/comments johnboxing1@hotmail.com

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