Tomorrow night in Ontario California, the consensus number two pound for pound fighter in the world, Andre “SOG” Ward will make his long awaited return to the ring. He will be facing the unbeaten Edwin Rodriguez in a non-title fight. The bout was originally scheduled to take place at the super middleweight limit of 168 lbs, although Rodriguez was unable to make weight. Negotiations were made to ensure the fight still took place; Rodriguez reportedly had to give 20% of his purse to Ward ($200,000). Rodriguez will also be weighed tomorrow and cannot weigh over 180 lbs or the fight will be cancelled.
While Rodriguez’s weight issues did not change my pick, they did help me reinforce my decision on the method of victory. I expect for Ward to make yet another big statement tomorrow night by stopping Rodriguez. Ward is superior in every way to Rodriguez and he will show it tomorrow night. Ward may not have one punch knockout power, but he hits harder than his record indicates, and he now has a fully healed right shoulder. I expect Ward to stop Rodriguez late, around round nine or ten. Rodriguez has an average defense and his weight struggles will not be doing him any favors tomorrow night.
What do you think of this weekend’s prediction? Who do you think will win tomorrow night? Let me know in the comments section below.