After going the distance for the first time in his career, Elvis Rodriguez has agreed to face another opponent who hasn’t been knocked out.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that Rodriguez, a hard-hitting junior welterweight prospect from the Dominican Republic, and Kenneth Sims Jr. have been scheduled to meet May 22 on the Jose Ramirez-Josh Taylor undercard at a venue to be determined in Las Vegas. ESPN will televise their eight-rounder as part of a tripleheader.
As BoxingScene.com previously reported, 140-pound contender Jose Zepeda (33-2, 26 KOs, 2 NC), of La Puente, California, and Mexico’s Pedro Campa (32-1-1, 21 KOs) will square off in the 10-round co-feature.
Veteran boxing writer Steve Kim was the first to report on Twitter that the Rodriguez-Sims bout will be part of the Ramirez-Taylor telecast.
The 25-year-old Rodriguez (11-0-1, 10 KOs), a southpaw who is trained by Freddie Roach, went all eight rounds in his most recent appearance. He defeated Argentina’s Luis Veron (18-3-2, 9 KOs) comfortably on all three scorecards (79-73, 79-73, 78-74), but Rodriguez wasn’t as impressive in that February 20 bout at MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas as he looked while recording four straight quick knockouts at that venue over a three-month period last year.
The 27-year-old Sims, meanwhile, will attempt to pull off a televised upset that would rejuvenate a pro career that hasn’t justified the hype that accompanied the accomplished amateur into the paid ranks.
The Chicago native has won two straight bouts against opponents with losing records, but he dropped an eight-round unanimous decision to Philadelphia’s Samuel Teah (17-4-1, 7 KOs) in his prior appearance. That loss to Teah in November 2018 marked Sims’ third setback during a difficult four-fight stretch.
Sims (15-2-1, 5 KOs) previously lost an eight-round majority decision to Rolando Chinea (15-2-1, 6 KOs) in July 2017. In the fight after Chinea beat him, Sims settled for an eight-round split draw with Montana Love (13-0-1, 6 KOs) in July 2018.
The Ramirez-Taylor card will take place either at MGM Grand Garden Arena or Michelob ULTRA Arena, the venue formerly known as Mandalay Bay Events Center.
Ramirez (26-0, 17 KOs), of Avenal, California, and Taylor (17-0, 13 KOs), of Prestonpans, Scotland, will fight for Ramirez’s WBC and WBO 140-pound titles and Taylor’s IBF and WBA belts.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.