All that Elvis Rodriguez can continue to do is train to go rounds.
The Dominican southpaw certainly isn’t getting them on fight night, having racked up eight knockouts in as many career wins. The one fight to not go that route, ended in just 2 ½ minutes as Santo Domingo’s Rodriguez (8-0-1, 8KOs) was forced to settle for a technical draw in a cut-shortened clash with Joaquin Chavez in his third pro fight last June.
Everyone else in his path was taken out before the final bell.
“I’m always prepared for as many rounds as possible,” Rodriguez told BoxingScene.com. “It’s not my fault that my fights don’t last longer.”
Actually, it kind of is on the rising junior welterweight prospect—though in a very good way. In order to challenge that theory, however, the team at Top Rank has secured the services of Cody Wilson (9-2, 6KOs) for his latest ring adventure which takes place Saturday evening at MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada (ESPN+, 7:30pm ET). The bout will mark Rodriguez’s third straight appearance in The Bubble this summer, having scored a pair of early round knockouts live on ESPN in July.
Rodriguez blasted through Danny Murray in just 2:13 worth of ring time on July 2, then needing less than two rounds to take care of Dennis Okoth just 19 days later in his most recent outing. The quick hits came after his longest career bout to date, stopping Kaylyn Alfred in the 6th round of their Telemundo preliminary bout this past February in Miami, Florida.
The hope is for his skills and stamina to be tested on Saturday. Wilson hasn’t exactly faced a who’s who of boxing talent fighting out of the Rust Belt region in West Virginia. However, the 26-year old has yet to be dropped or stopped in his young career.
It figures to be far from the toughest test that Rodriguez will face as he climbs the ranks, as the Freddie Roach-trained knockout artist is already being groomed as a can’t miss product.
“As we continue to move forward, the opponents will get tougher,” notes Rodriguez. “I have the skill, the commitment and the experience to beat anyone they put in front of me. We are going to continue to keep working hard to make sure I look better and better every time I fight.
“My goal is to win Prospect of the Year.”
A win on Saturday will mark his fourth of 2020, enough to at least garner consideration. Top Rank is armed with Vegas fight dates all the way through the end of October and possibly extending through the balance of 2020 as the need grows for more boxing content on ESPN and its platforms given the current sports climate.
As long as there is a ring and a willing boxer to stand opposite corner, it’s safe to line ‘em up.
“I’m gonna be ready for all of the dates they want to give me,” insists Rodriguez. “I’m going to be ready. No matter the competition they have lined up for me, I will be ready. I’m going to keep working hard. As the opportunities come, I will be ready for as many times as they want me to fight in a year.”
One thing he guards against viewers expecting, is a change of in-ring habits.
“I can’t control how my opponents prepare for me., but by preparing for tough fights, I’m making them look easier,” notes Rodriguez. “It will be the same when the opponents get tougher, they will all fall the same way.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox