WORCESTER, Mass. (August 18, 2011) – Historic Mechanics Hall hosts its 400thdocumented professional boxing show Saturday night, when Worcester’s adopted son, undefeated super middleweight sensation Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez, fights at home for the third time in his relatively young career.
The 26-year-old Dominican Republic native (18-0, 13 KOs) headlines a special edition of Broadway Boxing, presented by DiBella Entertainment, against intra-state rival and Iraq War veteran Chris Traietti (10-2, 6 KOs), of Quincy, in a 10-round bout.
Mechanics Hall has been a venue for pro boxing since 1920, but for a 41-year stretch it didn’t host a prizefighting show, until Rodriguez fought there in 2009 and again last year. Edwin relocated in Worcester from the Dominican Republic whenhe was 13, unable to speak a single word of English. Today, he’s a bi-lingual chess enthusiast who many consider leading 168-pound prospect in the world.
Back in the late twenties, like Edwin did many years later, Lou Brouillard (108-29-2, 66 KOs) moved to Worcester, and then went on to become world middleweight champion in 1933. The French-Canadian southpaw fought in Mechanics Hall nine times between 1929 and 1940, highlighted by his New England light heavyweight title-winning fight in 1938 versus Johnny Rossi (WTKO10).
Rodriguez, who trained the past two months in Houston with new chief second Ronnie Shields, had written into his contract that he’d fight a minimum of three times at home within three years. “I love fighting at home in front of my family, friends and fans,” Edwin said. “Being away from my family wasn’t fun, “but I did it so we’d all have a better life. They motivate me. Training in Houston was like training in Massachusetts. The air is thick there and it was very, very hot. We had wars in the gym and getting good sparring like I did will help take me to the next level.”
Rodriguez started boxing in 2001 and he developed into one of the top amateurs in the United States, compiling a solid 84-9 record that included gold-medal performances in the 2005 USA Boxing National Championships and 2006 U.S. National Golden Gloves Tournament. Rodriguez, who has dual citizenship in the U.S. and Dominican Republic, became the first Massachusetts boxer to win the middleweight title at the Nationals since “Marvelous”Marvin Hagler in 1973.
Saturday night’s Broadway Boxing show showcases the return of former WBA junior middleweight champion Joachim Alcine (32-2, 19 KOs) vs. upset specialist Jose “Stinger” Medina (14-9-2, 6 KOs), from Quincy. Also seeing action are two other boxers from Traietti’s hometown of Quincy –Rodriguez’ stable-mate junior lightweight Ryan“The Polish Prince” Kielczewski (10-0, 2 KOs) vs. James Lester (9-5, 4 KOs), and Gabriel Duluc (1-0, 1 KO) vs. Springfield (MA) junior welterweight Noel Garcia. Also scheduled to be in action are popular, female heavyweight Sonya “The Scholar” Lamonakis (5-0, 1 KO), fighting out of New York City, vs. Tiffany Woodard (4-4-1, 3 KOs); unbeaten Louisiana heavyweight prospect Kelvin Price (10-0, 6 KO) vs. Joseph Rabotte, and New Haven super bantamweight Luis “The KO King” Rosa(7-0, 5 KOs) vs. Shawn “Bones” Nichol (5-6, 5 KOs). All fights and fighters are subject to change.
Tickets for Broadway Boxing are on sale now through DiBella Entertainment, and start at only $35. Main Floor tickets are priced at $55, $75, and $125. Rear Balcony tickets are $35 and $75. Tables for groups of 10 are priced at $1,000. Tickets can be purchased by calling DiBella Entertainment: (212) 947-2577 and through the Mechanics Hall box office at (508) 752-0888. More information may be obtained by visiting www.dbe1.com.
Doors open at 6 PM/ET with the first bout slated for 7 PM/ET.
Who will win? Wladimir Klitschko or Tyson Fury?