HBO confirmed Friday that Andre Ward will defend The Ring and WBA super middleweight belts against Edwin Rodríguez on November 16 at Citizens Bank Arena in Ontario, California.
The 29-year-old Ward (26-0, 14 KOs) is a budding legend who hasn’t fought since earning a 10th round TKO victory over “Bad” Chad Dawson in September 2012.
A gold medalist as a light heavyweight at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Ward got injured two months after the Dawson (31-3, 17 KOs) scrap while preparing to battle retired titleholder Kelly Pavlik.
Ward underwent the knife on January 4 to fix a small tear in his right shoulder capsule and has since had trouble finding an opponent.
In the 28-year-old Rodríguez (24-0, 16 KOs), Ward has finally landed a suitable adversary.
Nicknamed "La Bomba," Rodríguez last vacated the squared circle in July after finishing Russian Denis Grachev in the first round.
However, despite being an unbeaten contender, Rodríguez is best known for allegedly pounding Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev a few years ago during a sparring session.
Unfortunately for the Dominican Republican, "La Bomba" is too reckless in the ring to threaten a brilliant tactician like Ward.
Although Ward has been shelved for in excess of a year, the 2011 “Fighter of the Year” should quickly adapt and outclass Rodríguez.
Now looking to triumph without the unanimous approval of judges, expect Andre Ward to knock Edwin Rodríguez onto Queer Street within 10 rounds roughly two months from this evening.
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