Andre Ward Vs Edwin Rodriguez – 16th November 2013

Location – Citizens Business Bank Arena, Ontario, California, USA

WBA Super World super middleweight title

Ward widely regarded as number 2 pound for pound fighter on the planet makes a return after a lengthy lay off due to a shoulder injury that has kept him out of the ring since he did a number on Chad Dawson back in September 2012.

He will face Edwin Rodriguez from Dominican Republic, an unbeaten fighter who has been impressing many of late, specifically in his last bout when he stopped a tough Denis Grachev inside one round, following that victory many sat up and took note.

In Rodriguez, Ward will be facing a big puncher who packs some mean body punching not only is Rodriguez a puncher he is also a very good boxer with a well round skill set with a good sense of timing and distance, he has a good rangy jab which he doesn’t always utilise to good effect sometimes preferring to swing wild and sometimes wide hooks and uppercuts.

In Ward, Rodriguez will be facing one of the most intelligent fighters on the planet, Ward is a thinker who is extremely versatile. He has a good engine and will dissect any weaknesses in an opponent, counter punching and combination punching with precision.

Rodriguez came in 2 pounds over the limit while Ward was on point, this means the WBA belt is no longer up for grabs for Rodriguez and he will forfeit 20% of his $1 million dollar purse.

This remains an interesting fight because we have two unbeaten fighters, Ward may have to shake off some ring rust and for Rodriguez this is a huge step up in opposition. Rodriguez is always going to be dangerous in there with his swinging shots that seem to carry some tremendous power. However i also think this is a fight once Ward finds his rhythm he could easily dominate.

I expect Ward to start cagey while he begins to analyse Rodriguez but i expect him to start shifting up a gear by the halfway point and once he does i think Rodriguez will find himself in trouble.

My preferred outcome is Ward by a wide points decision however at 4/6 its little short and i do think Ward has a good chance at finding a late stoppage in this one, Sky Bet have Ward 7-12 at 3/1 however they also have either fighter 7-12 at 3/1 so the latter is a no brainer.

ATR’s Bets – £20 on Either Fighter 7-12 3/1 Sky Bet

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