In the televised ESPN main event of a five bout card promoted by Bob Arum 's Top Rank and Joe DeGuardia Star Boxing, world ranked Junior Middleweights Delvin Rodriguez and Pawel Wolak battled to an exciting ten round majority draw in front of a capacity crowd at Roseland Ballroom in New York City.
Rodriguez was neither riled nor intimidated by the many Polish fans waving flags and booing jeers, but he had his hands full from the opening bell. Rodriguez had height and reach advantage, but fought the entire bout as a side to side counterpuncher at close quarters, relying instead on power punching to impress the judges.
Wolak fought the entire bout coming forward with incredible pressure in the style of Rocky Marciano, coming forward all the way. However, despite having the consistent offense, Wolak did not punch with power and Rodriguez was never in trouble. Rodriguez did not run or clinch, to his credit, and kept the bout extremely close on the scorecards with intense power shots which turned the right eye area of Wolak into a swollen pink grapefruit.
While the punches of Rodriguez never bothered Wolak, the visual damage was obvious and Wolak's grotesque eye may have influenced the scoring. The ring was not cut off, though at times Delvin countered off the ropes, or battled Wolak in center ring in a telephone booth. The bout was exciting, and extraordinary for the world class level it was fought.
Rodriguez was fighting for his life, and fought this bout much like Ishe Smith did when Smith beat Wolak in 2008, letting Wolak come at him aggressively and countered with heavy power shots.
For Wolak, a Debrica, Poland native, now fighting out of New Jersey, 29-1-1 (19), it was the first draw of his career since he turned pro in 2004, and ended an eight bout winning streak. For Rodriguez, a Dominican now fighting out of Danbury, Connecticut, 25-5-3 (14), has won only one of his last five bouts, in a streak going back to his 12 round split decision rematch loss to Isaac Hlatshwayo for the vacant IBF welterweight title in August 2009. More...