Photo Credit: BadCulture.net
ONTARIO, CA — Yesterday’s Andre Ward-Edwin Rodriguez weigh-in had some unexpected drama when title-challenger Rodriguez came in 2 pounds over the contracted limit of 168 pounds. Looking drawn and sickly, Rodriguez stated he would attempt to lose the additional weight but found he could not even urinate afterward. Negotiations with Ward’s camp lead to a new contracted weight limit of 180 pounds on fight night with Ward, who made weight at 167.8 pounds, not having his WBA title at stake.
Rodriguez also faces a penalty of 20% of his million dollar purse, with $100,000 going to the California boxing commission and the remaining $100,000 to Ward.
PREDICTION: To no fault of his own, Ward will be facing his second consecutive weight-drained opponent, giving critics an out to dismiss his performance. Everyone should probably have foreseen this coming — Rodriguez weighed 171 for a catchweight bout over Denis Grachev in July.
A mini-storyline for this bout was Ward’s inactivity, which in theory gave Rodriguez, a heavy puncher, a slim shot to land something big early and pull an upset. But his current condition greatly reduces that possibility. Yes, we’ve recently seen a dead at the scale fighter turn it around on fight night (Mikey Garcia going from near-comatose to destroyer against Juan Manuel Lopez), but Ward isn’t a fighter that gives you many openings. To beat him, your reflexes, mental and physical condition have to be at their absolute peak to time him. Rodriguez will outweigh him, but he’ll be sluggish and weakened in all facets later tonight.
In other words, Andre Ward is going to maul Rodriguez and it’s going to get ugly. Since Ward isn’t a big puncher, the one-sided nature of the bout will likely go rounds before the referee calls this off around the seventh.