The determination of David Rodriguez

The determination of David Rodriguez
By John J. Raspanti, Doghouse Boxing (Dec 24, 2012)

David Rodriguez
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Video Description: Filmed in December 2012, here it from David Rodriguez himself. As he answers many questions, and his plans for the future. Filmed live and uncut! Video by VABOOM Studios.
(Video Run time: Just under 22 minutes)
David Rodriguez - survived a brutal encounter near a pizza restaurant in Scottsdale , Arizona
“That man lies in the hospital with a broken jaw! He took the worst beating I ever saw in my life. You want me to go back and tell him all he gets is a lousy forty-nine dollars and seven cents for a broken jaw! How much would you take?

The Harder They Fall (1956)

“All you are is a piece of meat”

David Rodriguez (2012)

How can a professional fighter with a record of 36 wins and no losses (including 34 knockouts) lack respect in some boxing circles?

The question is a valid one.

Heavyweight contender David Rodriguez has been fighting for 14 years. Though he’s never lost a bout inside the squared circle, his soul has taken a pounding. Rodriguez has battled managerial problems and horrific injuries outside of the ring.

Twelve months ago, he survived a brutal encounter near a pizza restaurant in Scottsdale , Arizona . Bleeding profusely, he came within minutes of losing his life. Rodriguez sustained a wound from his jawline to his earlobe that required over 200 stitches.

The crime remains unsolved.

At the time of the stabbing, Rodriguez was the 15th ranked heavyweight in the world. Over the next few months, he endured plastic surgery to repair the damage to his jaw. The forced layoff was difficult. After recovering, his plan was to fight last summer against Manuel Quezada.

During training, he pulled a muscle in his calf. Then inexplicably, his right knee gave out.

“I broke a piece of cartilage from my knee,” Rodriguez told me during a telephone interview several weeks ago. “It was bone on bone. It was painful. I couldn’t make it up the stairs. It was so weak.

“The knee was always buckling. There was no way I could dip and throw punches. It (the injury) was changing my style,” he added.

Rodriguez had surgery performed on the knee to repair the cartilage and remove some loose bodies. A procedure called microfracture was also necessary. The surgery involves making tiny holes in the layer of the knee bone, which in turn increases blood and stimulates the cartilage.

“The knee is doing better,” said Rodriguez with a chuckle. “I’m feeling more and more confident every day.

“I had a fight coming up,” Rodriguez added. “The pain didn’t matter.”

Rodriguez was a traditional boxer. He trained, and showed up ready to fight. He believed in the people around him. But, during his time away from the ring, Rodriguez observed the people who were supposedly working on his behalf. He witnessed some troubling behavior.

What he saw forced him to make some decisions and get more involved in his own career.

‘I don’t trust many people,” said the Texas native. “It was so bad with my first team. They broke promises. They didn’t pay me when they were supposed to. They would pay me half the money they promised.”

Rodriguez fired his old team and sent his former trainer packing. He hired a new public relations firm and brought in 83-year-old Roberto Garcia to train him. Rodriguez calls Garcia his, ‘encyclopedia of boxing.’  

More then anyone else he’s very aware of the doubts surrounding his ability.

Admittedly, Rodriguez, 35, hasn’t fought a top-ranked contender. In what many considered the toughest test of his career, Rodriguez flattened Owen Beck with a perfect left hook in round three. Beck had fought for the heavyweight championship in 2006. A year ago, he stopped Byron Polley in two rounds.

“Yeah, but, it’s (the negative comments) have made me even stronger,” said Rodriguez. “I’m more motivated then ever to show the experts their wrong. I’m the kind of person that can endure that stuff. All the issues in my career are lessons to learn. It’s only going to make me better. I’m not a person who folds. I don’t quit,” he said.

“The next guy I fight better watch it. I’ve got more to prove than before,” Rodriguez added. “That’s dangerous. I’ll take more risks in the ring. I’ll go for broke.”

Rodriguez is hoping to return to the ring in February or March of next year. He’s looking for 2013 to be his year to shine.

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