Wednesday, September 14, 2011

"Mayweather has a lot of risk going into this fight"- David Rodela sheds insight


source: Chris Robinson | Examiner.com

During a recent trip to Victor Ortiz’s media day in Ventura, California, I spotted junior lightweight hopeful David Rodela in the crowd. A rangy boxer-puncher with a 15-4-2 (6) record, Rodela is closely connected to Ortiz’s camp as the 24-year old WBC welterweight champion prepares to defend his belt against Floyd Mayweather Jr. this Saturday night in Las Vegas.

Rodela himself is coming off of a six-round unanimous decision loss to local prospect Lonnie Smith this past April and was disappointed to initially see a fight with Luis Ramos on the Abner Mares-Joseph Agbeko undercard fall through last month. Still, the latest developments have the contest resurfacing, with Rodela again in line to face off with Ramos, this time on September 30th near Orange County, California.

Having known Ortiz for several years, Rodela and I touched on some key aspects of his fight with Mayweather, including his amateurs days with Victor, why Floyd’s inactivity may catch up with him, and why he feels Ortiz is primed for another upset. I also was sure to get Rodela’s take on the November 12th trilogy bout between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez, as he spent many rounds serving as a chief sparring partner for Pacquiao in the past.


In his own words, this is what Rodela had to say about Mayweather-Ortiz and Pacquiao-Marquez III…

Knowing and competing against Victor Ortiz…
“Well I actually fought him twice in the amateurs. Once to get a birth to the Olympic trials and he beat me once there. But he gave me my birth, my ticket to go to another tournament, my birth to qualify for the Olympics. So I did it and won and then in Olympic box-off, which was the final eight of the whole United States, of the whole eight, the first round, the first pick, I fight Victor. And this time I was ready for him and he still beat me by two points.”

Ortiz’s move to California…
“He beat me and ever since then, when he moved down and came to Oxnard, he seemed like a real cool, humble guy and we ended up working out at the same gym. He started working with my strength and conditioning coach, but he’s my boxing coach as well. The guy with the mow hawk, [Jospeh Janik] ‘Hoss’.”

Ortiz proving others wrong…
“To me, anybody in boxing, anybody that has a punch, has a chance. And it only takes one shot. I gave Victor a big chance to beat Berto. But it’s kind of surprising from 140 to 147 he didn’t take a tune-up fight and he went straight for the title. That was the champ. I said ‘Don’t you want to kind of start slow?’ and he said ‘No’. He proved us all wrong. He proved me wrong for sure. I mean, I knew he was going to win, but I didn’t think he was going to do it like that, that kind of fashion. I guess he likes proving people wrong. Because now he is like ‘I just don’t want to be the best at 147, I want to be the world’s best at 147’ and he’s challenging Mayweather. It’s another big, huge step.”

A great chance for Ortiz…
“I tell you, I’m on his team and I think Victor has a great chance to beat Mayweather. A lot of people don’t think so, because he’s young and a lot of people play back to the Maidana fight, but that’s old news. You are only as good as your last fight. His last fight was a hell of a fight. So I can only imagine his next fight coming up. Staying active helps out a lot too. Mayweather not being that active, it’s going to hurt him.”

What Mayweather has working against him…
“I don’t know about the age, because look at Bernard [Hopkins]. I just think that the inactivity, him not being the ring as frequently. But on the same token, he’s proven everybody wrong. He’s taken two years off and he keeps whooping people’s ass. He’s still undefeated so I can’t knock him for that. But this time he’s not just facing anybody. He’s facing someone who’s young, who can punch, you know what I mean? A lot of things negative to Mayweather and positive for Victor. He’s young, he’s strong, the flexibility, the reflexes, when he sees punches he can get out of the way, leg movement, everything; Victor has everything going for him. I think Mayweather has a lot of risk going into this fight. I think Victor Ortiz is going to shock the world once again.”

Lending a hand to Manny Pacquiao…
“I helped him out for the last two fights with Marquez. I just think styles make fights and those two match perfect. They do, they match perfect. If it would have been a quicker rematch, he would have had a better shot. Manny has fought as big as, 152 it was? There’s no way that Marquez can handle that. I think he’s going to prove a point. He’s going to knock him out and show that there’s no doubt, there’s no split-decision, and just leave it all on the table.”

Learning from Pacquiao…
“You know what? It was a very humbling experience. Manny is just such an incredible dude. Because no matter how much money, power, fame he’s got, to me he is still Manny. He’s just Pacquiao. He’s just real humble, real down to earth, real cool, a normal dude. I learned how to just stay humble, stay real no matter what obstacles life throws you. Just stay true to you and that’s it.”