Rodriguez Keeps Rolling, Unlike The Other Unbeatens

by Eric Raskin

Jason Escalera, Edwin Rodriguez - Photo Credit: Ed Mulholland

Four fighters entered Saturday night’s Boxing After Dark tripleheader with undefeated records. Only Edwin Rodriguez escaped with his intact.

When earlier in the day Rodriguez’s twins Edwin Jr. and Serena blew out the candles on their sixth birthday cake, they must have closed their eyes and wished for an easy night’s work for their dad at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods in Connecticut. Though opponent Jason Escalera entered the ring with a zero at the end of his record just like Rodriguez, his perfection was an illusion born of soft matchmaking. “La Bomba’s” superior pedigree showed from the start of the scheduled 10-round super middleweight bout, and though he didn’t produce the quick knockout he hinted at during a lopsided opening round, Rodriguez gave the supportive New England crowd what they came to see when he compelled referee Steve Smoger to stop the contest 12 seconds into the eighth round.

In so doing, Rodriguez avoided the fate that befell previously unbeaten welterweight Alex Perez and junior feather Luis Orlando Del Valle earlier in the evening.

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Compubox Analysis: Del Valle-Darchinyan

by CompuBox

Few venues in sport expose the truth like a boxing ring. Once the gloves are put on and the opening bell rings, all the pretense and pre-fight hype melts away and all that is left is what "is."

Saturday night's fight between Luis Del Valle and Vic Darchinyan promises to reveal what "is" for both. For Del Valle it is his first fight against a two-division titlist and a onetime pound-for-pound entrant. Are his skills good enough to repel a 37-year-old veteran with 16 "major" title fights under his belt? For Darchinyan, who has lost three out of his last five, he'll find out whether he still has what it takes to remain among the elite and to turn back a young buck who wants to go where he has already been.

Which version of what "is" will emerge Saturday? Their respective CompuBox profiles will gauge which reality is closer to being real.

See more Compubox analysis of Edwin-Escalera and Del Valle-Darchinyan on HBO.com.