Saul Rodriguez is stepping up
By Igor Frank
They say talent is not enough; one must have a great team around him to succeed in boxing. Twenty one years old from Riverside, California Saul Rodriguez has it all. He has talent, skills and punching power. Aside from physical gifts Saul has a powerful team behind him. One of the most influential promoters in the sport, Top Rank, known for developing young stars such as Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather, has been guiding Rodriguez’s career from the beginning. Saul’s manager, Cameron Dunkin is a well-respected veteran who is known for managing careers of Nonito Donaire, Timothy Bradley and Mikey Garcia. Robert Garcia is Saul’s trainer of record, but it is his father Eduardo who is responsible for the day to day training with the young prospect.
Three years into professional career Saul seems to be on the right track. “I feel pretty happy about how it is going,” said Rodriguez during our phone interview on Tuesday:” 14 and 0, 11 knock outs and I got 5 or 6 TV fights. I feel real happy about how it is going so far.”
Adhering to his moniker, Kid Dinamita, Rodriguez began his professional career with a bang. He scored four first round knock outs in a row. He fought seven times in 2012, but then slowed down in 2013.
“I started to pace myself a little bit more,” explained Rodriguez:” We got the four rounders’ out of the way and I was getting a lot of quick knock outs. This year I fought three times so far and it’s my fourth this week.”
Rodriguez (14-0-1,11KO’S) is scheduled to face veteran, Juan Roman Solis (21-8,8KO’S), this Saturday, December 5th, 2014 at the Civic Auditorium in Glendale, California.” This is a tough, rugged Argentinian dude,” explained Rodriguez:” He has a little bit more experience fighting the distance.” A super featherweight contest is scheduled for eight rounds.” I’ve only made it to the fourth round,” continued Rodriguez:” I’ve never seen a 5th round in any of my fights.”
Considering Saul’s knock out record, some might think that he is just a typical Mexican power hitter, but Kid Dinamita says is just a part of his game.” I have more sense than some people think,” Rodriguez said.
He has been gaining boxing sense and knowledge at the Garcia boxing Academy from father Eduardo and son, Robert Garcia. Three years into the school Rodriguez is happy with his learning progress.” Just my defense got a lot better, “continued Saul:” I use my jab a lot more. I am more patient and take my time with everything I do.”
With school in session and student displaying a great aptitude for learning, when is the graduation date? I asked Saul if he is ready to fight for a title. The young fighter doesn’t seem to be in a hurry. He said:” Cameron Dunkin is a veteran at this and he knows when I’ll be ready. I’m sure they’ll match me up perfect at the perfect moment when I’m ready and at the right time.”
I have a feeling we will be seeing a lot more of a talented super featherweight real soon. When I asked what he wants to accomplish in 2015, Saul said:” I want to get at least five fights and I want to be 20-0 at the end of next year.”
If you would like to see Saul perform live, I invite you to attend Glendale fight night Vl, this Saturday at Glendale Civic Auditorium. Other fighters featured on the card promoted by Top Rank are Brian Viloria, Jose Felix Jr. and Anton Novikov. Tickets could be purchased at www.glendalefightnight.com.