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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