Edwin Rodriguez vs. Marcus Johnson on May 24th

By Boxing News - 04/12/2014 - Comments

By Allan Fox: Former world title challenger Edwin Rodriguez (24-1, 16 KO’s) will be back in the ring next month against Marcus Johnson (22-2, 16 KO’s) in a 10 round bout at a still to be determined venue in the United States. Rodriguez, 28, hasn’t fought since losing a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision five months ago to WBA super World super middleweight champion Andre Ward last year in November in Ontario, California. Rodriguez, 28, fought as well as he could against Ward, but he didn’t have the game to beat him.

It was thought that Rodriguez would move up to the light heavyweight division for his next fight, but it looks like he’s had a change of mind about that for some reason. It could be that idea of fighting the likes of Sergey Kovalev and Adonis Stevenson aren’t too appealing to Rodriguez or he might like the idea of sticking it out at 168 to try and get a crack at the WBO and WBC title belts.

Rodriguez clearly has a better chance at beating super middleweight champions Sakio Bika and Arthur Abraham than he does at trying to unseat the top 175b champs Stevenson, Kovalev and Bernard Hopkins. Those guys are probably too tough for Rodriguez at this point.

Rodriguez had a big win over Denis Grachev last year in July in the Monte Carlo tournament. Rodriguez bludgeoned Grachev into submission in just one round, and it was impressive stuff. However, Rodriguez was unable to have much luck against the much higher skilled Ward in their fight last November, as Ward proved to be hard to hit, and much too good on the inside for Rodriguez to deal with. When he had Ward on the outside, Rodriguez didn’t have the speed to land his shots. But it was much tougher for Rodriguez on the inside against Ward because he had way too much skill for him to deal with. That was Rodriguez’s first career loss.

Marcus Johnson was recently beaten by Thomas Oosthuizen by a 10 round decision in 2012. Johnson took a couple of years off after that defeat and came back last March to defeat Terrance Smith by a 4th round TKO. Johnson also has a defeat to Dyah Davis on his record from 2011.