Hot, unbeaten super middleweight prospect Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez, coming off of his nationally televised destruction of veteran George “The Rooster” Armenta with a lethal left hook to the body at 47 seconds of the opening round, takes another progressive step April 30, when he takes on rugged Kevin Engel in an 8-round bout April 30 on “The Next Generation of Super Middleweights, live from UIC Pavilion in Chicago.
The show will be presented by Rodriguez’ promoter, DiBella Entertainment, along with Warriors Boxing and 8 Count Productions, airing on “ShoBox: The Next Generation” at 11 PM/ET.
One of the most promising under-25 prospects in the world, the 24-year-old Dominican Republic native Rodriguez (14-0, 10 KOs), fighting out of Worcester (MA), is already rated No. 12 by the NABO and No. 14 by the NABF.
Rodriguez, the 2005 USA Boxing National Championships and 2006 U.S. National Golden Gloves Tournament gold medalist, remains a relatively unassuming boxer despite drawing raves from the media and public for his past few performances.
“I have to stay grounded and keep working hard to become the fighter I want to be – world champion,” Rodriguez said. “Whether I’m fighting on national TV or not, I go in the ring and shoot for my best performance.
"I’m working just as hard for this fight as I was for my last fight. I need to keep improving each fight. I’m honored to be part of ‘The Next Generation of Super Middleweights,’ but I remain level-headed and work very hard in the gym.”
Engel (17-2) arguably represents Rodriguez’ toughest opponent to date, something that Edwin has faced fight-by-fight on a regular basis in order to improve. The knockout artist from St. Louis fighter, who has stopped 14 of 17 victims, has fought mostly as a light heavyweight, winning the World Boxing Foundation title in 2007.
“I know he is a kick-boxer; an athlete with a good right hand,” Rodriguez noted. “I’ll be working to stay away from his right. Every fight I try and make a statement and this fight I want to prove to everyone that, my last fight was an impressive performance, not a fluke. I’ve been working hard in the gym and will get the job done. I’m ready.”
Rodriguez is managed by Elite Management (Larry Army) and trained by Peter Manfredo, Sr.