Weighing in at 174.8lbs., Worcester, Massachusetts-native Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez, 24-1 (16 KOs), is ready for his light heavyweight debut against Azea Augustama tonight at the StubHub Center, in Carson, CA. Scheduled for 10 rounds, the bout will air on HBO Latino, beginning at 12:15am ET.
“I’m excited to be returning to action and to get back on HBO,” said Rodriguez. “I feel that with my last fight against Andre Ward, my body was telling me that I needed to move up in weight. I’ve had a really good training camp for this fight and I’m going in there to send a message to the light heavyweight division that I am an elite fighter. My opponent is a good boxer, a former Olympian, but I’m not worried about what he’s doing. I’m just looking to be the best Edwin Rodriguez I can be tomorrow night.”
A popular New England fighter and an accomplished amateur, Rodriguez turned pro in 2008 and signed with DiBella Entertainment a year later. Always willing to take on the best fighters out there, his last six opponents had a combined record of 107-2-3, dating back to 2011. Underneath the Sergio Martinez-Matthew Macklin middleweight championship bout at Madison Square Garden on St. Patrick’s Day 2012, Rodriguez displayed excellent technique in outboxing the always-tough Donovan George over 10 rounds to pick up the USBA super middleweight belt, on HBO’s World Championship Boxing. After impressively stopping the previously undefeated Jason Escalera in eight rounds in September 2012, on HBO’s Boxing After Dark, Edwin participated in and won the “Million Dollar Super Four” tournament in Monte Carlo, Monaco, defeating the 19-0 Ezequiel Maderna via 10-round unanimous decision and demolishing the 13-1-1 Denis Grachev by TKO inside the opening frame.
His performances in the tournament earned him a shot at the Super WBA super middleweight champion Andre Ward, considered by many as the second best boxer in the world. On November 16, 2013, Edwin worked hard to bring the fight on the inside and take Ward out of his game plan, but would ultimately lose a 12-round decision. Now refreshed and rejuvenated, Rodriguez is determined to reclaim his lofty high-ranked status, as a light heavyweight.
He’ll be facing Haitian-born Azea Augustama, 17-1 (9 KOs), of Miami, FL, who weighed in at 175.8lbs. After losing a controversial eight-round majority decision to the 8-0 Denis Grachev in 2011, Augustama has gone on to score eight straight victories over several tough contenders.
“Augustama is a good boxer, but is just not in Edwin’s class,” said trainer Ronnie Shields. “This has been the best training camp we’ve had since I’ve been working with him. This is the first time where we didn’t have to focus so much on losing weight. I think Edwin has the skill set to compete with anybody in the light heavyweight division. I’m expecting him to look spectacular tomorrow night.”
“We’re happy that Edwin is returning to the ring where he belongs, as a light heavyweight,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “Augustama is an excellent test for Edwin’s move into the light heavyweight division.”