November 14th, 2013 By John Signorella
ANDRE WARD IS BACK!
New York, NY- Boxing’s epic 2013 schedule continues this weekend and is highlighted by an eagerly anticipated return of one of the sport’s best “pound for pound” pugs.
BUT DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK
After a yearlong hiatus, WBA super middleweight champ (168) Andre Ward (26-0, 14 KOs) puts his undefeated record and trophy on the line against unbeaten, but untested scrapper Edwin Rodriguez (24-0, 16 KOs) in a proposed 12 rounds of pound at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California. Televised coverage begins at 10 PM ET on HBO.
As evident in his last several outings, (simply put): Andre Ward has displayed undeniable world-class ring generalship to the masses. Before entering Showtime’s highly acclaimed “Super Six Tournament”, Ward created a “buzz” in the biz when he dominated rugged two-time IBF title challenger Edison Miranda on points. After the drumming of Miranda, Andre captured his first world title in stunning fashion against former WBC belt holder Mikkel Kessler (W TD 11) and followed up that stellar showing with commanding performances resulting in victories over Allan Green (W UD 12) and former “Contender” TV series winner Sakio Biko (W UD 12). Ward then went on to dismantle and expose former titleholders and one-dimensional bullies Arthur Abraham (W UD 12) and Carl Froch (W UD 12) to finally win the “Super Six “ tourney. In the aftermath of being crowned as the best super middleweight pugilist on the planet, Andre was pitted opposite of, and destroyed former light heavyweight (175) belt holder Chad Dawson (W TKO 10). From his recent efforts of acclaim, Andre Ward has garnered mainstream appeal and is currently recognized among the elite “pound for pound” fighters in the world.
WHO THE HELL IS EDWIN RODRIGUEZ?
Edwin’s a guy that can punch some and his biggest claims to fame are beating down on the sons of former distinguished boxers Buddy McGirt and Aaron Pryor (W TKO 9 James McGirt & W UD 10 Aaron Pryor jr.). Albeit Rodriguez resume leaves much to be desired, during his experiences with the “average Joe”, he has managed to show a bit of descent craft in his boxing ability and remains unbeaten. Hence, Edwin’s a viable challenger and is a good test in “comeback” type fight for Andre who hasn’t fought in a minute.
SIG’S PICK: Give me a break. Andre Ward wins this fight easily folks. It might take Ward a few rounds to get his “steps” in order (or he may opt to just want to get some work in after his long layoff) either way; expect him to be decapitating “E -Rod” sometime after the sixth frame in an embarrassing showcase for Rodriguez being outclassed by a true champion in “Dre”.
GOOD LOOKING SCRAP ON THE HORIZON NEXT SATURDAY
Be sure to check back here at Ring Talk early next week for my exclusive preview and predictions for the Manny Pacquiao/Brandon Rios explosive clash that commences Saturday November 23rd from China!