Neno's Ice Cream Days
By Uppercut staff
Fighting in front of millions of fans has long been a dream of Saul “Neno” Rodriguez and that day creeps ever closer for the slim prizefighter with crackling power.
Rodriguez (19-0-1, 14 Kos) faces hard-hitting Colombian Daulis Prescott (31-3, 23 Kos) in a super featherweight clash on Saturday May 14, at the Sportsman’s Lodge in Studio City, Calif. It’s the main event on the Top Rank fight card filled with contenders. UniMas will televise.
The moment is not lost on Rodriguez, who like thousands of other boxers, dreams of fame and glory.
“I’m looking to fight on a higher level,” said Rodriguez, 23, who relishes fighting to a national and international audience; much like superstars Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin.
The road to boxing began early for Rodriguez who was barely seven years old when the local gym in Los Angeles became a second home. But even during those elementary school days he was grabbing attention with his power as crowds would gather to witness his ability to win by knockout.
After 11 years as an amateur, now Rodriguez trains under the tutelage of Eduardo Garcia and his son Robert Garcia. The Riverside-based prizefighter now realizes the world of amateur boxing is completely different from pro boxing. It’s a world more suited for Rodriguez’s skill set of speed and power.
But it’s a world filled with perilous traps.
“What I do as a knockout puncher is I try not to throw so many punches that they can land something in between on me,” said Rodriguez. “I’m not going to throw a five-punch combination. I’m going to land a solid one-two punch and know they are going to land.”
Rodriguez correctly analyzed a fight this past weekend between Mexico’s Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and England’s Amir Khan and predicted it would result in a knockout. The reason: “Khan likes to throw those three and five-punch combinations and Canelo is going to catch him by the sixth round.”
Canelo indeed knocked out Khan in the sixth. Not a bad prediction by Rodriguez.
Now Rodriguez faces his own obstacle in Prescott, a rather tall 29-year-old super featherweight with equal power and speed who fought for a world title but lost to Nicholas Walters in 2012.
“He’s tough. He’s a veteran. I don’t think there’s too much I can’t handle,” said Rodriguez who trains in Riverside. “It’s going to look good on my resume.”
Preparation for this fight against the dangerous Colombian was spent sparring against world champions and fellow prospects.
“For this fight I sparred Abner Mares, Hector Tanajara, Mikey Garcia a lot,” Rodriguez said. “I don’t think Prescott is going to be better than any of my sparring partners.”
The boxing resume continues to build for the super featherweight from Riverside Poly high school whose whole career has been focused on a Spartan life as a prizefighter. It’s a lifestyle that forces him to abstain from many of the small pleasures of life normal people enjoy.
“I do like junk food. My main thing is ice cream. That’s all I crave when I’m going through training,” admits Rodriguez.
A good win allows Rodriguez those ice cream days.
“It also means a lot to showcase my skills in front of my fans,” said Rodriguez.
Doors open at 5 p.m. for the fight card. The Sportsman’s Lodge is located at 12833 Ventura Blvd. in Studio City, Calif. For more information call (626) 388-8888.