Richard Quiñones (Journeymen Boxing) Juan Rodriguez will not only be looking for respect, but more importantly a chance to pull off an upset when he meets undeafted and highly touted prospect Ivan Golub in scheduled eight-round welterweight affair Saturday January 16th, at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The bout will be on a stacked card promoted by DiBella Entertainment, which will be highlighted by the Deontay Wilder/Artur Szpilka WBC World Heavyweight title and the Charles Martin/Vyacheslav Glazkov bout that will decide the vacant IBF World heavyweight title.
Rodriguez (12-3, 5ko’s) has dropped two straight, but what has gone unnoticed is the fact the 29-year-old native of Union City, New Jersey, will typically take a fight on short notice.
As such is the case with his bout against the 27-year-old Golub, who had a brilliant amateur career as he compiled a staggering record of 270-32. A native of the Ukraine, Golub was a five-time Ukrainian National champion, who won a bronze medal at the Junior World Championships in 2006 and bronze at the World Championships in 2009. He also competed in the World Series of Boxing, winning all five of his bouts.
But none of that deterred Rodriguez from taking the fight on short notice.
“Today is exactly a week that we heard about the fight, almost every fight we get offered is like this 1-3 week notice,” Rodriguez told JMB on Wednesday. “Our motto is stay overnight ready. Training wise we did a lot of things different but we are going to keep that a secret.”
Rodriguez is smart to realize how the game is played in boxing, but he is also astute enough to realize that he has proven to be a worthy opponent, especially against on the rise undefeated boxers.
“Every fight is a career-defining fight for me. This is my fifth undefeated fighter in a row, seems like that is what my career is about.”
In his last bout, Rodriguez suffered a fifth-round TKO loss to Nick DeLomba, but one can argue it was an early stoppage, as Rodriguez was not enduring that much punishment up against the ropes when the action was halted.
“If we were the “A” side on that fight, we win by 1st round knockout,” Rodriguez said. “But the ref let the home town guy live. That was a bullshit stoppage, watch the fight even the commentators said it. That’s the position we were in, though, we could only learn from it.”
Regardless of the outcome of that bout, there is no denying that the cagy Rodriguez does not shy away from stepping up in competition. He was floored two times against fringe contender Sammy Vazquez, but got back up before going down a third time in the first round of the 2014 contest, which is a testament to his toughness and grit.
Vazquez is poised to battle Aaron Martinez for the WBC welterweight semi final eliminator January 23rd in L.A.
That is what makes Saturday night no different then any other fight for Rodriguez, who believes every time he steps into the ring it will be a career-defining fight. The opponents might change, but the mind-set doesn’t.
When pressed on this being a career-defining fight against Golub,” Rodriguez added “Every fight is for me,”
As for a scouting report on his highly touted opponent.
“He fights, he in shape, he is another Ukrainian amateur star. Definitely not a walk in the park.”
Golub has knocked out his last three opponents.
Regardless of the outcome on Saturday night, Rodriguez’ mentality will never waver, nor will his drive or determination.
“I want to be as active as I can. I’m in a position that all I get is phone calls to be an opponent and I’m taking all calls. Just got to train and eat right. Stay overnight ready.”
A phone call for a fight is a all a true fighter can ask for.