Friday, July 8, 2011

Danbury boxer Rodriguez set for July 15 bout in New York City

KERHONKSON, N.Y. -- The Catskill Mountains sure are beautiful this time of year, but Delvin Rodriguez didn't drive all the way up here to admire the scenic views.
Rodriguez, a 31-year-old boxer who was born in the Dominican Republic, grew up in Danbury and sharpened his skills at the Hat City Boxing Club, is here for one reason -- to work.
And work.
And work some more.
Rodriguez's next bout will be a 10-round, junior-middleweight battle against Pawel Wolak on July 15 at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City. The fight will be the main event on ESPN's Friday Night Fights.
And Rodriguez, a one-time welterweight world-title contender, knows he'll be ready when the bell rings. He has spent the last month living and training at a secluded camp in the Catskills, a good two hours away from Danbury, to prepare for this fight.
The cabin that serves as Rodriguez's training facility is equipped with all the necessities to train a fighter -- a boxing ring, a timer, various punching bags and a few other tools of the trade.
The determination it takes to win, well, Rodriguez has supplied that himself.
"I have nothing to think about but boxing, all day, every day," Rodriguez said as he sat on the cabin's front porch following a sparring match. "It's a great get-away for the fight, great preparation."
And it's anything but a vacation.
"It's non-stop," he said. "I get up at 5 in the morning, do my running, some exercise and shadow boxing. And rest, of course. Rest is maybe even more important than training. You have to let your body recuperate. So I rest, and then in the afternoon I come in and I train and do the boxing part. And when I am resting and sitting in the house, I'm watching his fights and just thinking about the fight.
"That's the tough part about boxing, it's the training and the discipline you have to have," Rodriguez continued. "Half of my year, I'm in camp. I go back home for a couple months and come right back to camp. This is like my second home, really. It's definitely tough. I have a 9-year-old and, of course, he wants to be doing stuff with me.
"There are days here where you get up and you don't want to be here," added Rodriguez, who also does work for ESPN Deportes. "That's when you have to breathe hard and think about the fight and say `Hey, it's going to pay off after.'"
And Rodriguez will have an old friend in his corner for this fight, as Fernely Feliz -- another Dominican-born fighter who trained at Danbury's Hat City Boxing Club back in the day -- is Rodriguez's trainer.

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