David “El Nino” Rodriguez: “I’m just happy that Owen is okay.”Written by Joseph Herron
Saturday night at the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, TX, David Rodriguez (35-0, 33 KO) destroyed Owen Beck (29-8, 20 KO) with a perfectly timed left hook to the jaw, sending Beck crashing to the canvas and instantly stopping the bout midway through the third round.
"I really wanted to win sensationally," declared Rodriguez. "Beck was tough, and I knew that he was going to be my toughest opponent yet, but I think I just made a big statement in the heavyweight division and shut up all of my critics who said I never fought anybody."
"No one ever gave me any credit throughout my career and now I deserve credit for beating a good fighter so decisively," exclaimed the 33 year old fighter.
During the first two rounds, both men exchanged brutal shots to the body and landed clean effective punches.
In the final minute of the second round, "El Nino" hurt Beck with a great combination, sending the Jamaican native reeling into the corner.
Although Beck would make it through the second round, most in attendance had a feeling that the he wouldn't last much longer.
At the 2:02 mark of round number 3, David Rodriguez charged Beck against the ropes and landed a perfect left hook to the jaw, which sent the 35 year old fighter violently crashing to the canvas.
"Coming into the fight, I knew that he was a slick fighter," admits Rodriguez. "Beck was trying to work his jab but I thought I was doing a good job blocking it. I started sitting on my shots in the second round and I knew that I would eventually catch him. Especially when I wobbled him at the end of the second, I knew it was coming and I caught him with the left hook."
In a scary moment, Beck laid motionless in the ring for several minutes after the bout.
"That was a very scary moment for me," stated the El Paso, TX, fighter. "I'm really happy that he's alright, but knockouts like that remind us how brutal this sport can be. I told Owen that he should hang up the gloves and stop fighting."
With the victory, David becomes the WBC Fecombox Mexican Heavyweight Champion and receives a top ten ranking in the WBC.
I'm willing to fight anyone out there and I plan on staying active and having two more bouts this year. Possible opponents for "El Nino" who have shown interest in fighting the Hispanic heavyweight are James "Lights Out" Toney and Cristobal Arreola.
When asked what he thought about a possible fight with James Toney, David stated, "I actually sparred with him when I was younger and I've always had a lot of respect for James; but honestly, I would much rather teach Randy Couture a lesson. That fight was a joke and James deserves more respect than that. Let's see Randy Couture get in a boxing ring with me."
Before the fight, Rodriguez admits that he felt a lot of pressure to put on a great performance.
"I am very spiritual and I prayed about this fight, because a knock-out loss can happen to anybody in this sport," expounds Rodriguez. "This is boxing, and I am humble enough to realize that it could have easily been me unconscious and on that canvas.
David's promotional partner, Zeferino Ramirez, feels that no one in the heavyweight division can deal with David's hand speed and power, including a certain Hispanic heavyweight.
"What happened to Owen Beck tonight would happen to Chris Arreola," states Ramirez. "Chris would run into one of his punches and it would be over. "David punches like no other heavyweight in the world."
With the knock-out victory, David Rodriguez improves his record to 35-0 with 33 knock-outs, including 24 knock-outs in the first round. Owen Beck drops his fifth straight fight by knock-out and falls to 29-8.
On the undercard, Middleweight David Medina (23-2, 11KOs) fought a very mature and tactical fight with Juan Astorga (15-6-1, 10 KOs), which ended in a brutal knock-out. At the 2:13 mark of the sixth round, Medina caught Astorga with a perfectly timed left hook that sent the Mexican native crumbling to the floor. The ref called a halt to the bout immediately.
Medina talks about an upcoming bout with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on September 17th in Mexico.
"My promoter tells me that I'm fighting Chavez Jr. in the Fall," announces Medina. "I'm too stupid to take a step back so I think that will be one hell of a fight. Junior is not his Dad and he's human, so I am going to get right to work and take it to the WBC middleweight champion."
Also, last night former El Paso toughman, Juan "The Hispanic Causing Panic" Lazcano announced that he will be making his comeback sometime in the Fall as well.
"There are just certain things in life that a man has to prove to himself," states the former lightweight title holder. "I have to get back in the ring for reasons that will be revealed later. The truth will expose itself in time."
Juan Lazcano was last seen in the ring fighting Ricky Hatton in a losing effort in Manchester, England, for the IBO junior welterweight title.
Promoters Greg Cohen and Zeferino Ramirez have both stated that they would be very interested in putting together a fight between "Light's Out" and "El Nino" in El Paso, TX.
It will be interesting to see who David fights next, Toney or Arreola?
"David will fight anyone," states Zef Ramirez. "I think James was and still is a great fighter, but his time has come and gone. This is my fighter's time now, so David would love to make that fight happen."
If Rodriguez had his druthers, he would fight for a major world title tomorrow.
"This year, my goal is just to stay active," claims Rodriguez. "But if I can land a shot at a major world title, I would easily choose to do that first."
Courtesy: Joseph Herron, Eastside Boxing
Photos Credit: Robert Tibuni and Vaboom Studios