Delvin Rodriguez was kind enough to take a couple minutes with me on Sunday early afternoon, which I appreciated as Saturday night had not been alright for fighting for him.
The 33-year-old Connecticut resident found himself up against a resurgent Miguel Cotto, a guy who fought in the same manner he used to when he had hair.
Under the tutorial watch of Freddie Roach, Cotto looked to land the left hook, heavy and often against Rodriguez in Orlando. In Round Three, two left hooks and a right finished Rodriguez (28-7-3), with the ref not bothering to count.
I asked Rodriguez, promoted by New Yorker Joe DeGuardia, how he was feeling the day after. "I'm alright, I'm OK," he said. "Just landed in New York."
He told me that indeed Cotto was a bit better than he expected, that his left hook when he had a bit of room to throw hurt was "very solid. I got a little too relaxed, I didn't expect the power to be as strong as it was. He caught me early, trying to warm up."
Retirement is not an option, he told me. "I'm a fighter," he said. "I really want to get back to what I used to do, instead of boxing, jumping around. Not fight in a dumb way, but I have power, enough to hurt anyone."
Today, he hurts, his chin and ego having been penetrated. But, he said, he would be cheered up soon enough. He was about to begin the drive to Connecticut, to see his wife, son and baby boy, who just turned one. They won't care about strategy and left hooks, they will be looking for hugs.
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