In A Knockout Performance, Prospect Edwin Rodriguez Impresses (Live Guest Coverage From Worcester, Mass.!)

Most Valuable Network owner Evan Brunell may be a Red Sox man by blog trade, but he’s got a real appreciation of the sweet science. On Thursday evening, he checked out a locally-oriented card in Worcester, Mass., the highlight of which was the headlining bout featuring a prospect with a little sizzle named Edwin Rodriguez, who did against his opponent what Giovanni Lorenzo, John Duddy, Joe Greene, Vanes Martirosyan, Sechew Powell and Ishe Smith could not. These local shows are the lifeblood of the sport in many ways, and it sounds like it was a pretty good event. Evan took some great photos — you can see yet more of them here, including some lovely ring card girls and a great crown/sunglasses get-up one of the boxers sported — and provided colorful writeups of each fight. Enjoy. –Tim

In the first fight card at the renowned Mechanics Hall since 1967,
“Worcester’s Great Hope” Edwin Rodriguez took on Patrick Thompson, the
Colorado/Nebraska Super Middleweight Champion. The undercard was full
of fighters making their pro debuts and saw some entertaining events.

by DiBella Entertainment, this fight card was part of DiBella’s
“Broadway Boxing” series, televised to over thirty million households.
DiBella Entertainment is owned by Lou DiBella, who helmed HBO Sports
for 11 years and later appeared in the movie “Rocky Balboa” as the
fight promoter.

There was a good crowd turnout at the event and the Hall was
dazzling in its aesthetics, making it an enjoyable place to take in a

JONATHAN OCASIO (0-3, 134 lbs.) V. STEPHEN ORMOND (2-0, 136 lbs.)

In the first event of Homecoming in Worcester, Massachusetts,
Philadelphia-bred Jonathan Ocasio went up against Stephen Ormond, a
three-time Irish National Amateur Champion who hails from Dublin,
Ireland. Despite a reputation as a tough Philly fighter, Ocasio was
anything but as he danced around the ring, evoking the image of a
scared rabbit trying to escape the jaws of the stalker, Ormond. In
fact, the fight lasted only one round as the ring doctor declared
Ocasio unfit to continue, landing Ormon his first professional American

VALAR BIOSSE (Debut, 172 lbs.) V. HUSTON CRAYTON (0-3, 182 lbs.)

Crayton (L) Boise ® – Evan Brunell (MVN)

would think that a boxer with three fights under his belt would have no
problem with a flamboyant rookie. Alas, the hulking Huston Crayton,
hailing from Brockton, Massachusetts couldn’t figure out Valar Boise.
From Providence, R.I., Boise came out with fanfare, with he and his
posse sporting glittering jackets. Boise himself was sporting trunks
with colored strips flapping around as he pranced around the ring. Once
the fight got underway, Boise quickly showed that he wasn’t afraid of
Crayton and landed several blows that confused Crayton. The fight
lasted until 1:17 in the second round when Crayton’s manager finally
had enough and tossed in the towel, but not after getting his towel
caught by the ropes and seeing Boise land a few more haymakers.

DUSTIN REINHOLD (Debut, 152 lbs.) V. VALDRIN MURIQI (Debut, 157 lbs.)

Reinhold and Boise certainly have made Providence, R.I. proud
tonight. Reinhold clearly did not have the size advantage as his
dimunitive frame peered upwards at Muriqi’s tall frame, but his small
stature belied his checkered past. Around 30, Reinhold was recently
released from prison after serving nine years. Reportedly, Rinehold hit
a man in a bar and the man fell and died. Muriqi, the New York City
native, showed confidence early in the first round but was no match for
the plucky Reinhold who quickly tired out Muriqi. Rinehold quickly
became a crowd favorite as he showed no fear in going after Muriqi and
battering him. Meanwhile, Muriqi showed he might not be ready for
prime-time just yet.

Muriqi failed to properly protect his head with his gloves multiple
times and would repeatedly shove Reinhold away when the two ended up in
holds. The referee continually reminded Muriqi not to shove, to simply
step back, but the message did not go through due to all those hits he
was absorbing. The third round had Muriqi take some devastating hits
and it seemed clear to the crowd that this was a fight that was soon to
be over. Surprisingly, the fight went into the fourth and final round,
but not for long. 42 seconds into the fourth, the referee had seen one
hit too many and stopped the fight. As Reinhold celebrated, Muriqi was
escorted out by the ring doctor, who looked concerned about Muriqi’s

PHILIP JACKSON BENSON (2-0, 2 KO, 163 lbs.) V. DAMEON MARSHALL (0-1, 164 lbs.)

Benson (who looked a bit like Marlo from The Wire) came out and
showed his smooth swinging against Marshall, who didn’t look like he
was quite sure of what he was doing. The first round had no action, but
the second round showed some powerful knocks by Benson, the Queens
native who is a two-time New York Golden Gloves champion. One knock
staggered Marshall to the ground, and the referee looked at Marshall’s
manager for guidance. The manager wanted another shot, and Marshall was
able to rise after an eight-count. He quickly went back down to the
ground several more bruising hits later and Benson is now 3-0 with
three knockouts. Marshall, who has a reputation for being
“upset-minded,” certainly had no upsets in this fight.

RYAN KIELCZEWSKI (3-0, 128 lbs.) V. AARON CHAVEZ (2-1, 127 lbs.)

Kielczewski – Evan Brunell (MVN)

the co-feature of the night, Kielczewski, a local product from Quincy,
took on Chavez, hailing from Vero Beach, FL. The “Polish Prince,”
Kielczewski came in the ring with a crown on his head. He had a
boisterous section comprised mostly of family cheering him on and came
out guns blazing the first two rounds. He and Chavez traded soft hits
with no true devastating punches, but more effective punches were on
their way in the second round. Kielczewski developed a bloody nose due
to this and looked to start running out of gas. In the third round, the
19-year old was a step slower but earned a thunderous TKO with a right
uppercut that completely blindsided Chavez. The light dimmed briefly in
Chavez’s eyes as he fell backwards, straight as a ramrod, as if he was
a tree falling over.

He was able to stagger up but was too dazed to continue, and
Kielczewski earned his first knockout of his career. After the fight,
Kielczewski told Chavez “you’re a tough bastard, bro.”

“That was definitely the hardest fight I’ve had,” said Kielczewski.
He came in with no game plan but adjusted as the fight continued. “At
first, we were playing really close,” Kielczewski said. He made
adjustments to try to create more space and use his jab, and it clearly
worked out for him. After the match, a tired but victorious Kielczewski
claimed that he was “going all the way to the top. World champion!”

Once he adds muscle and experience, he may be just that.

EDWIN RODRIGUEZ (9-0, 6 KO, 163 lbs.) V. PATRICK THOMPSON (15-13-1, 5 KO, 164 lbs.)

Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez, a Worcester native, took on Patrick
Thompson from Lincoln, Nebraska in a super middleweight battle. While Thompson
has a 15-13-1 record, he could not be discounted due to his opponents’
cumulative record being well over .900.

Rodriguez lands one
on Thompson – Evan Brunell (MVN)

two were going hard after each other in the first round trying to land
sledgehammers, but Thompson slowed down dramatically in the second
round. Rodriguez was still quick on his feet and landing solid punches.
Rodriguez’s promoter said that Rodriguez “fought a quality 164-pounder,
really tough to knock out.”

Indeed, Thompson has only been knocked out once prior to this event,
but Rodriguez gave him tally No. two 2:11 into the second round.

A sign of things to come came when Rodriguez landed a punch that
sent Thompson crashing to the ground. He rose after seven seconds and
declared he was okay. He came out aggressive after that, trying to
reclaim his manhood, but Rodriguez stood his ground. As the fight
continued, Rodriguez dominated the fight with his sensational punching
power, but flashed signs of weakness as he was prone to short-arming
his right fist. He could smell blood and it came in the form of a

“[Thompson] was supposed to be” good, said Rodriguez after the
fight. “I think I just caught him on a bad day. I [messed] up his
gameplan, but that’s what I’m here to do.”

As for Rodriguez’s gameplan, his manager, Larry Army stated that
they wanted to establish Rodriguez’s jab early in the match, and to
“come in and box.” While watching tape of Thompson, the two noticed
that Thompson tended to drop his left hand, which made him vulnerable
to a right hook, which is exactly what felled him after Rodriguez
rolled over his jab and brought the hook in. As for what Army said was
the most impressive thing about Rodriguez in the fight?

“He didn’t lose his poise.”

Rodriguez started boxing when he was 16 and is now 23 and feels that
every fight he participates in, he keeps improving. The two-time
National Amateur Champion is considered a rising star and feels he can
be a world champion within the next two years.

He will next fight at Foxwoods on April 25.

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ( He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.