Delvin Rodriguez is the Winner in The End!
By Ken Hissner, Doghouse Boxing (July 29, 2011) Doghouse Boxing
Delvin Rodriguez

By Ken Hissner, Doghouse Boxing. - Delvin Rodriguez, 25-5-3 (14), of Danbury, CT, and Pawel Wolak, 29-1-1 (19), of Mt. Arlington, NJ, waged what most viewers would vote for “Fight of the Year” for 2011 through the first 7 months of the year over ESPN2 on July 15th. The bout was good enough to be repeated several times the following week including July 22nd. Both fighters agreed they would like a rematch.

If either fighter would have been declared the winner it is this writer’s opinion the chances of a rematch being agreed upon by the winner would be 50-50 at best. Two judges had it even and one had it 7-3 in rounds for Rodriguez. Neither fighter deserved to lose this bout after what each put into it. So a draw not only seems to be fair but it should all but guarantee a rematch possibly in December. Wolak had the volume advantage and Rodriguez the accuracy and power advantage.

In talking with Rodriguez he is looking forward to the rematch. “I hope we can fight the rematch under the Margarito-Cotto (WBA light middleweight championship on December 3rd in MSG) fight and get the winner of that match,” said Rodriguez. There has certainly been enough deserving ink since they fought so no use repeating it. Going into the fight Wolak in his most recent win scored a stoppage over the former WBA champion Yuri Foreman who lost his title to Cotto. Wolak recently signed with Top Rank and rumors he jumped ship from Ivan Edwards to TR connected Cameron Dunkin. Edwards was warned Wolak was in Las Vegas and the name Dunkin came right to this writer’s mind. If Wolak loses to Rodriguez in the rematch he may be back East in a hurry.

Rodriguez on the other hand took a year off to re-group and come up with a new team. “I signed with A.J. Galante as my manager who is only 24. I also added a new trainer in Fernely Feliz who is only 41. He was the first person I remember meeting when I entered the gym at the age of 9 (now the age of his son, Delvin, Jr.),” said Rodriguez. Feliz was the Dominican heavyweight champion who retired in 2008.

Wolak was on an 8 fight win streak at fight time. Rodriguez on the other hand had lost 3 of his last 4 fights in the welterweight division with his one win taking the USBA title. It was Rodriguez who had the experience going into this fight having fought to a draw with then IBO champion Isaac Hlatshwayo in a non-title bout in his native country of South Africa. The US judge voted for Hlatshwayo and the South African judge for Rodriguez. The neutral judge had Hlatshwayo ahead by a point but an error in his scorecard had it even. It seemed the knockdown that Rodriguez scored in round nine would guarantee him the win but it fell short.

In the rematch in the US Rodriguez once again fell short on the scorecards losing a split decision for the vacant IBF title. This time judges from their perspective countries voted for their fighters while the neutral judge had it for Hlatshwayo who would lose in his first defense by knockout.

“I do not want to look back on disputed title decisions but look ahead to a new career (in a higher weight division). I feel stronger than ever at this new weight,” said Rodriguez. It was also pointed out that former manager Stan Hoffman would still be a phone call away in an advisory capacity.

“The rematch should be on either HBO or Showtime,” said Rodriguez. Wolak was ranked No. 3 by both the WBA and WBO along with being No. 8 by the IBF before the fight. Rodriguez having his first fight in the light middleweight division should capitalize on Wolak’s ratings in all 3 organizations. This is where he is a winner!

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