Homecoming for Rodriguez!

Unbeaten prospect Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez (9-0, 6 KOs) has been matched against veteran Patrick Thompson (15-13-1, 5 KOs) in the eight round main event on “Homecoming,” promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Manfredo’s Gym, Thursday night, March 19 at historic Mechanics Hall.

“Homecoming” will be taped live as part of DiBella’s “Broadway Boxing Series,” which will be shooting in New England for the first time, from the beautiful Mechanic’s Hall venue that hasn’t hosted pro boxing since 1967.

“This show launches DiBella Entertainment in New England,” promoter Lou DiBella said. “We come right back April 25th at Foxwoods, featuring Jermain Taylor challenging WBC super middleweight champion Carl Froch, on Showtime. With young fighters in our stable like Edwin and Ryan, DiBella Entertainment definitely plans to have a strong promotional boxing presence in New England.”

The Dominican Republic-born Rodriguez fighting out of Worcester recently signed an exclusive promotional contract with DiBella Entertainment. The 23-year-old middleweight has an outstanding 84-9 amateur record, including gold medal performances in the 2005 USA Boxing National Championships and 2006 U.S. Golden Gloves Championships.

Thompson, the reigning Colorado/Nebraska super middleweight champion, has defeated former Canadian champion Jason Naugler and gone the distance with present IBF mandatory middleweight title challenger Giovanni Lorenzo, John Duddy, Joe Greene, Vanes Martirosyan, Sechew Powell, Matt Vanda, Ishe Smith, Mariusz Cendrowski, Pawel Wolak, and David Medina. The thick-whiskered Thompson has been stopped only once, 5-½ years ago, by Alfonso Gomez of The Contender I fame.

“This guy is the gatekeeper to the elite level of the middleweight/super middleweight divisions,” Rodriguez’ manager Larry Army noted. “He’s fought everyone and only top-echelon fighters have defeated him. Thompson’s only been knocked out once, so he’s tough and durable.”

The 8-round co-feature pits a hot prospect, “Buddy” McGirt-trained super bantamweight Dat “Dat Be Dat” Nguyen (14-1, 6 KOs), against a proven veteran, former world title challenger Alex “Ali” Baba (26-14-1, 19 KOs).

Fighting on the undercard in 4-round bouts are Quincy (MA) lightweight Ryan Kielczewski (3-0), Brooklyn middleweight Philip Jackson Benson (2-0) vs. Dameon Mitchell (0-1), 3-time Irish national amateur champion, Steven Ormond (2-0), in his U. S. debut, along with a pair pro-debuting boxers from Providence, light heavyweight Valar Boise and welterweights Dustin Rhinehold.

“Edwin will be ready for Thompson,” Manfredo’s head coach Peter Manfredo, Sr. remarked. “He’s looking good, real sharp. He’s been going to a strength-and-conditioning coach and it’s starting to show. His power has improved and his defense is getting better. Edwin’s turning into a real pro.

“Thompson’s a tough kid, stopped only once, and he comes to fight. It would be a nice feather in Edwin’s cap to knockout Thompson, not that he’s going into the ring looking for a knockout. If it comes, we’ll take it.”

Tickets, priced at $50.00 (balcony), $75.00 Unbeaten prospect Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez has been matched against veteran Patrick Thompson in the eight-round main event on “Homecoming,” promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Manfredo’s Gym, Thursday night, March 19 at historic Mechanics Hall.

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