On Friday April 2nd, Delvin Rodriguez (24-4-2, 14KO) looks to put himself back into the welterweight title picture when he takes on former world title challenger, “Mighty” Mike Arnaoutis (22-4-2, 10KO) on ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights” at the Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino in Uncasville, CT.
Rodriguez recently took time out of his busy training schedule to talk about his upcoming fight, how he is looking to get past a bitter 2009, and where he sees himself at the end of this year.
Q: Delvin, how has training camp been for this fight?
DR: Just like always, training camp has been good. I have been getting real good sparring and I am working hard. I’m in great shape and just ready and anxious to go out there and defend my belt on April 2nd.
Q: Other then him being a southpaw and a former world title challenger at jr. welterweight, what else do you know about your opponent Mike Arnaoutis coming into this fight?
DR: I have seen a few tapes on him, he seems like a pretty tough and durable guy, and he definitely has skills. I am ready though. I am planning on coming out very aggressively in this fight and I do plan on stopping him. I’m sick and tired of leaving fights up to the judge’s scorecards and coming up on the short end. You can’t get robbed if you knock your opponent out, and that’s what my mission is going to be every time I step into that ring.
Q: In your last fight against Rafal Jackiewicz, you fought very aggressively, is that the type of style we can expect to see from you here on out, or do you approach each fight differently?
DR: Yes, as I touched on in the last question, my game plan for this fight and for every fight for the rest of my career is to jump right on my opponent and be very aggressive right from the opening bell. In both my fights with Hlatshwayo and my fight with Jackiewicz I had them hurt very badly, and I let them off the hook. I can promise you that won’t happen anymore. If I have you hurt, I am going to do everything I can to knock you out, or force the referee to stop it. I’m going into this year with a new attitude. At this stage of my career I can’t afford to let any more opportunities slip away. Expect to see fireworks each and every time I’m in that ring from here on out.
Q: Talking about your fight with Jackiewicz, in a fight that you absolutely dominated in punch stats, including throwing more then 700 punches than he did and almost knocking him out, how upset were you that he was awarded the decision? Have you been able to get over that or are you still bitter?
DR: Anyone who has seen that fight knows how ridiculous the decision was. Honestly you don’t even need to watch it, if you just take a look at the punch stat numbers you can see how ridiculous it was. The fight wasn’t even close, I dominated him in every aspect. At the end of the fight he was taken to the hospital and I didn’t even have one mark on my face, right there you know something isn’t adding up. I was definitely upset and definitely down, but I am just focusing on my future now, and I know I have what it takes to be champion, and there isn’t anything or anyone who is going to stop me from accomplishing that this year.
Q: Are you looking to send a message in this fight, if so what is it, and is it directed at anyone in particular?
DR: Yes I am looking to send a message to everyone in the welterweight division, and that message is that I am coming for you. All these so-called champions, they want to prove they are real champions then fight me. I have paid my dues, this is my time.
Q: Delvin want to thank you for taking time out of your training. Is there anything you want to say in closing?
DR: I want to thank my promoter Joe DeGuardia (Star Boxing) for putting this fight together and giving me an opportunity to defend my belt in front of my hometown fans at the Mohegan Sun. This is going to be a big year for me in 2010, starting with knocking out Arnaoutis on April 2nd. I hope everyone that can’t make it to Mohegan Sun tunes in on ESPN because it’s going to be a performance you definitely are not going to want to miss.
Doors open at 7PM with the first bout scheduled for 7:30PM. The first live televised bout goes on air at 9PM. Tickets are priced and available at $75, $45 and $30 and are on sale now. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Star Boxing office at (718) 823-2000. To find out more information about exclusive tickets please call Star Boxing at (718) 823-2000 or visit www.starboxing.com. Tickets may also be purchased through Ticketmaster. Ticketmaster customers may log on to ticketmaster.com or purchase tickets by calling 1-800-745-3000.