By Jim Dower: WBA super middleweight champion Andre Ward (27-0, 14 KO’s) put in an excellent performance in beating Edwin Rodriguez (24-1, 16 KO’s) by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision on Saturday night at the Citizens Business Bank Arena, in Ontario, California, USA. The final judges scores were 118-106, 117-107 and 116-108.
Both fighters were docked 2 points each by the referee Jack Reiss in the 4th round after they kept brawling while Reiss was trying to break them apart. But after that, Ward really took Rodriguez to school both on the inside and the outside.
Ward changed up tactics in 6th round when he moved to the outside and started pot shotting the slower and much bigger Rodriguez in a style that looked similar to Floyd Mayweather Jr. Rodriguez kept trying to land one big shot, and occasionally he was successful, especially when Ward would tie up one of his arms. Rodriguez would use those opportunities to nail Ward repeatedly with hard shots.
In the 11th round, Ward hurt Rodriguez with a hard left hook that snapped his head back. But Rodriguez showed a good chin and he was able to recover immediately from the shot.
Rodriguez suffered a cut over his left eye in the 12th round from a head-butt, but it didn’t prevent him from going all out to try and get lucky with a big shot. Ward did a great job of avoiding Rodriguez’s big home run punches to control the round.
After the fight Rodriguez left the ring without giving an interview to HBO.
Ward said “He didn’t come to win. He came to fight ugly and try to catch me with one big shot. I was in there with a bigger man. The intentional stuff [fouls], I can’t put up with. He’s a guy that was trying to hit the lottery and get lucky. He was closing his eyes and trying to land one big shot.”