Ward (26-0, 14 KOs) will defend The Ring and WBA super middleweight belts against the 28-year-old Rodríguez (24-0, 16 KOs) on November 16 at Citizens Bank Arena in Ontario, California.
A gold medalist as a light heavyweight at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Ward hasn’t fought since earning a 10th round TKO victory over “Bad” Chad Dawson in September 2012.
“My mind, my energy and my attention is all focused on Edwin Rodriguez,” said Ward, 29, who underwent the knife on January 4 to fix a small tear in his right shoulder capsule. “I really want to win this fight and do it in great fashion. I think that’s what’s going to bring my game to the next level. But, it starts right now.”
Meanwhile, the 28-year-old Rodríguez (24-0, 16 KOs) last vacated the squared circle in July after finishing Russian Denis Grachev in the first round.
Despite being an unbeaten contender, Rodríguez is best known for allegedly pounding Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev a few years ago during a sparring session.
Unfortunately for the fearless Dominican Republican, “La Bomba” is too reckless in the ring to threaten a brilliant tactician like Ward.
Although Ward has been shelved for an extended period, the 2011 “Fighter of the Year” will quickly adapt and outclass Rodríguez.
“To win this fight and do it in great fashion,” expect Andre Ward to knock Edwin Rodríguez onto Queer Street within 10 rounds roughly a month from this evening.by