By Paul Webb
In front of just over 4000 fans in Ontario California the self proclaimed ‘Son Of God’ Andre Ward (27-0 14KO’s) put on a one sided dominating performance thoroughly outclassing the rough Edwin Rodriguez (24-1 16KO’s) winning by a wide margin on all three of the judges cards.
Ward has faced criticism for having a very efficient but unfriendly on the eye style and after the opening two rounds its easy to see why he hears this so often. Both men were guilty of holding and clinching whenever the action got up close and referee Jack Weiss was kept very busy in the early stages.
The fight took a momentum shift in a chaotic fourth round when after yet another untidy clinch both fighters appeared to ignore the referee’s instruction to break and carried on throwing shots. Weiss was caught up in the middle and his somewhat theatrical two point deduction of both men, followed a stern warning that he would throw both of them out and they wouldn’t get paid.
Ward took the round 8-7 and the incident seemed to fire him in to action as he preceded to totally dominate the remaining rounds. His jab was a weapon the power behind it and the way he followed it up with the left hook was textbook.
Rodriguez couldn’t see the punches coming and was throwing wild looping punches in return landing very infrequently and on the rare occasion he did land he took three in return.
The twelfth round saw an accidental clash of heads which opened a nasty cut on Rodriguez eye but it was close enough to the end of the fight for it not to alter the outcome.
The three judges all saw it for Ward 118-110, 117-111 & 116-108, I didn’t see any rounds that Rodriguez could have won but thats boxing judging for you.
Ward is clearly a classy operator he has barely dropped a round in years let alone come close to losing, a rematch with Carl Froch or a big fight at light heavyweight against Bernard Hopkins could be in his near future. For now he takes away a sizeable pay day as well as a chunk of the overweight Rodriguez $200,000 fine and can celebrate a successful return after 14 months out of the ring.by