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New beginnings for Rodriguez on FNF

5/14/2014
Delvin Rodriguez looks to bounce back from a loss to Miguel Cotto when he faces Joachim Alcine. Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

After 17 previous appearances on ESPN's "Friday Night Fights," Delvin Rodriguez looks to start fresh when he faces former 154-pound titlist Joachim Alcine.

Rodriguez (28-7-3, 16 KOs), a native of the Dominican Republic, squares off with the Haitian-born Alcine (35-7-1, 21 KOs) in a 10-round junior middleweight bout at Montreal's Olympic Stadium (ESPN2, 9 p.m. ET). It's the first boxing card at the venue since Roberto Duran defeated Sugar Ray Leonard on June 20, 1980.

Fresh off a decisive defeat in October to Miguel Cotto, Rodriguez, 34, made some key decisions regarding his future in the sport.

"A lot has happened since my last fight," Rodriguez said. "I've changed my entire team. [I have] a different trainer, a different manager. I've changed everything."

Rodriguez's new manager is Jay Dovolani, and Cuban Roberto Quesada, former trainer of his country's Olympic team, has taken over the coaching duties.

"[Quesada] is a seasoned professional and he knows what I need to be ready for the day of the battle," said Rodriguez, explaining the benefits of the change. "We are concentrating on hard work, and working to get in great shape. The technique is there, we just need to polish it."

Even though he didn't say it, Rodriguez is looking for a return to his 2011 prime, when he starred in a pair of all-action fights against Pawel Wolak, which opened the door to a unsuccessful title shot the following year against Austin Trout.

Prior to the setback, Rodriguez appeared on the right track in 2013, knocking out unbeaten George Tahdooahnippah in February and former world title challenger Freddy Fernandez in May. His performances were enough to set up the meeting with Cotto, which ended via third-round TKO.

Rodriguez will look for a return to the win column when he faces the 38-year-old Alcine, who is just 3-6-1 since 2010.

"I don't know much about Alcine. I just know he's a tough guy and has a lot of experience," Rodriguez said. "He's a former champion. In this stage of my career, I do not take anyone lightly. He is looking to redeem himself and return to the limelight."

Alcine, who fights out of Quebec, will likely find himself out of options should he face defeat on Friday. After losing five straight bouts from September 2012 to December 2013, he rebounded with a pair of wins in 2014 against lesser competition.

"I've been training with Buddy McGirt for almost four weeks," Alcine said. "Four or five years ago I made two fights with him in my corner and it was great. I was looking for a coach and I think he's the only one with the required knowledge to train me."

Alcine holds advantages in height and reach against Rodriguez, but doesn't use his jab as much and often fights behind a tightly closed guard. Look for Rodriguez to be the aggressor and employ constant pressure with hooks from the outside.

In the co-main event, Derric Rossy (28-8, 14 KOs) and Joe Hanks (21-1, 14 KOs) square off in a 10-round heavyweight bout.