Undefeated middleweight/super middleweight sensation Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez has his “Homecoming,” promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Manfredo’s Gym, all set for Thursday night, March 19, against veteran Patrick Thompson in an eight round main event at historic Mechanics Hall in Worcester, MA.
“Homecoming” will be taped live as part of DiBella’s “Broadway Boxing Series,” which will be shooting in New England for the first time, from the beautiful Mechanic’s Hall venue that hasn’t hosted pro boxing since 1967.
The 23-year-old Dominican Republic-born sensation Rodriguez, 9-0 (6), fighting out of Worcester, was a two-time national amateur champion, capturing gold in the 2005 USA Boxing National Championships and 2006 US Golden Gloves Championships.
Thompson, 15-13-1 (5), reigning Colorado/Nebraska super middleweight champion, has defeated former Canadian champion Jason Naugler and gone the distance with present IBF mandatory middleweight title challenger Giovanni Lorenzo, John Duddy, Joe Greene, Vanes Martirosyan, Sechew Powell, and Ishe Smith. Thompson has been stopped only once, five years ago, by Alfonso Gomez of The Contender I fame.
“All I wanted is coming together Thursday night,” Rodriguez said. “I’m fighting on television for my new promoter Lou DiBella in front of my friends, family and hometown fans. It’s a great feeling. I’m so excited to showcase my talent in my hometown for the first time as a pro and to a television audience.
"What more could I ask for? I’m learning more each fight and improving every time out. I’ve been working hard in the gym on different things like sitting more on my punches. This is only my 10th pro fight and I’ve been better in each one.
“I know Thompson is tough and he’s been in with a lot of good, world-class fighters. I’m more concerned with what I need to do to be the best Edwin Rodriguez than what he’s bringing. I know he’s only been knocked out once. I’m not going in looking for a knockout but, if it comes, I’ll gladly take it. I just can’t wait for Thursday night.”
The eight round co-feature is an intriguing match-up between a promising prospect, Buddy McGirt-trained super bantamweight Dat “Dat Be Dat” Nguyen, 14-1 (6), and proven veteran, former world title challenger Alex “Ali” Baba, 26-14-1 (19), who has tested WBC flyweight champion Pongsaklek Wontongkam, Raul Martinez and Eric Morel..
Fighting on the undercard in four round bouts are Quincy, MA lightweight Ryan Kielczewski, 3-0, 2008 National Golden Gloves runner-up, vs. Aaron Chavez, 2-1, Brooklyn middleweight Philip Jackson Benson, 2-0, a two-time New York Golden Gloves champion vs. Dameon Mitchell, 0-1.
Steven Ormond, 2-0, a three-time Irish national amateur champion in his US debut vs. Jonathan Ocasio, 0-3, Providence light heavyweight Valar Boise makes his debut vs. Brockton’s Houston Crayton, 0-3, Fall River welterweight Dustin Rhinehold and Valdrin Muriqi make their pro debuts against each other.
Tickets, priced at $25.00, $50.00 (balcony), $75.00 (first row balcony), $60.00 (floor), $100.00 (floor), and $150.00 (ringside – first 2 rows inside security barriers), are on sale at the Mechanics Hall box office, www.mechanicshall.org, Manfredo’s Gym in Pawtucket (RI), and the Boys & Girls Club of Worcester. Doors open at 6:30 PM/ET, first bout at 7:00 PM/ET.