By Bill Turgeon
Mashantucket, CT.- Worcester’s adopted son, the undefeated, USBA Super Middle Weight champion, Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez continued his winning ways in a lopsided eight round victory over the enthusiastic but overmatched Jason Escalera. In the palatial MGM Grand Ballroom at Foxwoods Resort and Casino the pugilistic skills and athletic prowess of Edwin Rodriguez were on display as never before.
Combining slick boxing skills with relentless punching power the outcome of the HBO headlining event was never in doubt. Rodriguez was like Sherman on his march to the sea; leaving a wake of destruction in his path. The bout between the third ranked Rodriguez and the undefeated, hard hitting Escalera, lived up to its promise to be a slugfest.
The Rodriguez–Escalera bout was scheduled to be a ten round affair but, as Rodriguez predicted, “There’s no way I’m letting this fight go the distance. I’m gonna knock him out.” Rodriguez went about backing up his prognostication from the get go. Fans hadn’t even had time to get settled into their swank opera chairs when Rodriguez started dropping bombs on Escalera. Battering the up-and-coming Jersey prospect from corner-to-corner throughout the first round. Judges went so far as to award Edwin a two point advantage 10 – 8 in the first round. Impressed Ringside observers were quick to note the size, strength and experience advantage Edwin had on the granite-jawed but outclassed Escalera.
It was said Rodriguez had gained as much as twenty pounds since the weigh in Friday afternoon. The resulting power differential paid immediate dividends. Rodriguez rained thudding body shots at Escalera at will. Time and time again pressing the action and using his superior ring savvy to stalk and trap his quarry in the corners of the ring. Although Rodriguez clearly won each round handily the challenger continued to counter punch and would not be taken off his feet. Edwin concluded the fight in resounding fashion; delivering a vicious left hook to the head of Escalera resulting in a technical knockout at just twelve seconds into the eighth round.
Following the fight a clearly jubilant Rodriguez was asked about possible future bouts by HBO’s Max Kellerman to which he responded, “I’ve proven myself, I’ve sent a message with my performance tonight. Now it’s my time, time to fight for the championship world, I’m ready.”
As Edwin continues his march towards the world title a grateful city embraces “La Bamba” the man who gives so freely of his time to help at-risk youths stay out of gangs and preparing young up and coming boxers at his Worcester training site, Camp Get Right.