"I would prefer Kelly Pavlik because he's been badmouthing me on the internet, saying that I'm horrible. So that's a fight that I really want now. I had a lot of respect for Kelly Pavlik because he was an undisputed middleweight champion, but now, it's my time and I feel like he disrespected me. I hope he takes this fight so that I can send a statement to the rest of the super middleweight division... hopefully Kelly Pavlik takes the fight so I can shut him up," stated undefeated super middleweight contender Edwin Rodriguez, who talked about his recent 8th round TKO victory over Jason Escalera, his future plans, including a potential clash with Kelly Pavlik, and much more. Check it out!
PC: Congratulations on the win over Jason Escalera. How do you feel about the way you performed over the course of the 8 rounds that the fight lasted?
ER: I feel like I did really well. I feel I was able to put my offense and my defense together. I think in my last fight, I concentrated a little too much on defense, but in this fight, I think I was able to put them both together and I'm trying to become a more complete fighter.
PC: I have never seen you come out so aggressive like you did in this fight. Was that because you saw something in Escalera that would allow you to jump on him so fast, or did you just want to make a statement?
ER: I knew he was a strong kid and had power in both hands, so I wanted to come out and let him know I was in charge and that he wasn't gonna be able to run through me like he's been able to run through everyone he has faced so far. So I just wanted to send him a message right away. If I did that, I knew I would make the fight easier for me because I knew he was gonna have to worry about what was coming if he kept running into me all reckless like he did with his other opponents. So I was just sending him a message to let him know that I was gonna be in control of the fight.
PC: When his mouthpiece kept coming out, did you see that as a sign of weakness and figure he was wearing down with some of those big shots you were hitting him with?
ER: I felt like he had a cheap mouthpiece and I don't think he intentionally spit it out once. I would hit him with a shot and the mouthguard would come out. But he also looked like he didn't haveÂ…I took something from him when I hurt him in the 1st round because he was out on his feet for basically the whole round.
PC: I felt you could have gotten him out of there long before the 8th round, but like you said, he is a very good puncher and you had to be careful and not reckless. How important was it for you to show good patience against a guy who could change the fight with one shot?
ER: In the 1st round, I threw a lot of shots. I hit him with a lot of clean shots and he was hurt, but I did not want to go in there and punch myself out. I have seen that happen to so many fighters and I did not want to go in there and punch myself out like that. I knew I was in there against an opponent that had power in both hands and I couldn't take that type of chance. It was only the 1st round, so I knew that he wasn't gonna be able to take that for 10 rounds. I took my time and was just able to break him down and I took more chances as the fight went on. He kept wearing down because of the beating he was taking early on in the fight and I knew he was going to go sooner or later, so I was patient and kept it together and that's what happened.
PC: You have worked with Ronnie Shields for a good while now. What is the chemistry like with you guys and how is your working relationship with him?
ER: I have fun when I go to the gym, and I go in there and I'm able to learn the game. This is a guy that was a former fighter, so he is one of the few teachers left in the game. Just knowing that he's actually been in the ring before and he knows that we have to cut weight and the whole nine is relieving for me. I'm able to listen to him better because I know he's been where I'm at right now and it's relieving when I'm in the ring and I'm going through something knowing he's been there before, so I believe in him as far as him knowing what's going on and what to tell me so that I can put it all together. He can see things that I'm not able to see in the ring.
PC: Two names that you have been mentioning lately is Kelly Pavlik and Arthur Abraham. Do you prefer one over the other, or as long as it's one of those guys you are good?
ER: I would prefer Kelly Pavlik because he's been badmouthing me on the internet, saying that I'm horrible. So that's a fight that I really want now. I had a lot of respect for Kelly Pavlik because he was an undisputed middleweight champion, but now, it's my time and I feel like he disrespected me. I hope he takes this fight so that I can send a statement to the rest of the super middleweight division.
PC: Is that a fight you would like to take this year or are you done for the year?
ER: Hey, if he wants it this year, we can get it in this year, but I'm not on the business side of boxing. I leave that to my manager and promoter and if anything comes up, I will be ready. But I'm basically just waiting on my manager and promoter right now.
PC: Your family life and home life is well documented. Is it tough for you to take off to Houston every training camp or is it something you guys have gotten used to?
ER: You never get adjusted to just going away for 8 weeks and not being able to see your family, but it's something that my wife and I both understand that it's something I need to do in order to keep improving and being the best I can be to be able to give them a better life. It's tough, but we're gonna do it.
PC: You are a very good fighter and even better person, and I wish you the best. I want to see this Pavlik fight, so let's hope that comes together. Congrats again. Is there anything else you wanna add?
ER: I just want to thank all of the fans for following my career. I'm really thankful for that. Thank you for having me on and hopefully Kelly Pavlik takes the fight so I can shut him up!
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]