Friday, January 1, 2016

The 2015 Boxing Glove Awards: Fight of the Year: Rodriguez vs. Seals

 The Boxing Glove Fight of the Year 2015

Edwin Rodriguez KO 3 Michael Seals

November 13, 2015, Beau Rivage Resort and Casino, Biloxi, Mississippi.

This was a short, but sweet fight for any boxing fan that appreciates the rougher, more basic side of the sport.  This fight wasn’t about the scientific side of the sweet science.  Look instead under the heading of “sweet brutality” for this fight.  Light-heavyweight Edwin Rodriguez’s nickname is ‘La Bomba’ and it was ‘bombs away’ from the first bell as Rodriguez (28-1, 19koes) went after the unbeaten, but largely untested Michael Seals (19-1, 14koes) looking like he wanted to end the fight with his first punches.

The sudden attack had an instant result, as Seals stumbled to the canvas after just 20 seconds of the 1st round.  After Seals beat the count, Rodriguez went after him, looking for the finish, only to run into a counter by Seals, which had him falling to the floor.  Rodriguez seemed noticeably hurt by the knockdown, and took a long count upon one knee before rising.  With both men knowing that they had the power to hurt the other, the round continued on even terms, and at a slightly calmer pace, as Seals showed a good jab, and Rodriguez continued to come forwards, and lash out with wilder, yet more powerful looking shots of his own. In the last 10 seconds of the round, Seals, after having been forced back to the ropes, caught Rodriguez with a short and sharp right hand. Rodriguez fell to the canvas, like he had been shot, turning as he fell, so that he landed flat onto his face upon the canvas.

Few fighters beat the count when they suffer such knockdowns, and Rodriguez almost didn’t make it either.  Stumbling back onto his haunches at his first attempt at regaining his feet, Rodriguez still didn’t know where he was when he finally got back to his feet and had to be helped back to his corner by his corner men when the bell sounded to end the round moments later.

Amazingly, Rodriguez had made a remarkable recovery by the start of the 2nd round, as both men tried their best to take out the other with one punch.  Seals using his slicker counter-punching, while Rodriguez came forward, with his do or die, caveman-like approach.  In the last 30 seconds of the round Rodriguez had cornered Seals on the ropes, and sent him down to the canvas with a series of chopping punches.  Seals staggered to his feet looking like a Friday night drunk, as he pulled himself upright with the help of the ropes. In fact, Seals was so out of it after he regained his feet, that he turned his head, and seemed to be having a conversation with someone outside the ring while he was taking the mandatory 8 count.  But just as Rodriguez had been saved by the bell at the end of the 1st round, Seals was saved by the bell to end the 2nd.

The 3rd round found Rodriguez looking for the finish once more against Seals, who had not recovered fully from the knockdown in the previous round.  After driving Seals back onto the ropes with a series of heavy jabs, Rodriguez landed a right-hand that sent Seals flying into the ropes, and then down onto the canvas upon his back.  Seals drunkenly regained his feet once again, but this time the referee called a halt to this amazing contest, as Seals was apparently out on his feet.

Five knockdowns in three rounds, with each of the knockdowns a spectacular one, this was one of those fights which will be remembered as the kind of classic slug-fest which captures the imagination of the boxing fan.

Watch the full fight below:

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