SET FOR RING RETURN
By Jesse Kelley
Welterweight Corey Rodriquez (4-0, 3 KO's) says he is ready
to jump right into the Minnesota boxing mix following a ring absence of
more then a year. Rodriquez has been actively fighting in that time. Unfortunately
the battles have been in a court room rather then a ring in an attempt
to gain custody of his children.
Rodriquez comes from a boxing family but says that he is ready to continuing
making his own mark in the boxing world following an impressive amateur
career and building on his (4-0, 3 KO's) record as a pro. Rodriquez, who
plans to become a full time fighter in the near future, discussed the
circumstances surrounding the legal battles as well as his desire to face
some of MN's top guns between 147 and 154 pounds.
You were set to fight a few weeks ago in Wisconsin but things sort
of unraveled at the last second. What happened?
The fight was canceled but I was really looking forward to fighting Shaun
Hinckle. He seems like a really nice guy. He talked about me coming down
there to Missouri to fight him or him coming up here to Minnesota if there
is a fight here. He was a real cool, outgoing kind of guy.
You have been out of the ring because of legal stuff. Is that something
you want to discuss?
I had a lot of difficulties with my ex girlfriend. She didn't support
me in boxing. Actually it is something I would like to talk about. There
were a lot of times that I couldn't get to the gym and didn't have the
proper training. It was a struggle to get to the gym because I would get
home from work and she would go off and do her stuff. So I stayed home
with the kids. It was just real difficult for 2 or 3 years to get to the
gym and train. Ever since I came back to boxing it was real difficult.
I worked out the best that I could. I would put the kids to bed at night.
When she got home I would fly out the door and run. I figured I could
at least get my road work in because I couldn't make it to the gym. I
would basically just do what training I could do from home. We broke up
in June of last year. That is when we started going through the custody
battle. That took about 10 months. It was just a huge process. I kind
of retired because I couldn't concentrate on boxing when I was fighting
for custody of my kids.
How did everything turn out in the end?
Actually I didn't win custody of them. My son, my boy, isn't my blood
son. So I have visitation rights with him. But I was going for custody
rights of my daughter. I guess it's a women's world when it comes to that
because I lost. I spent about $40,000 and a lot of time. I even had the
custody evaluation which is a two and a half month process with a guy
that sits down and studies us. In the end he said I should have my daughter
but the judge went against the evaluation of his own co-worker.
You sound very eager to start fighting again. What is next for you?
I am looking forward to fighting again. I would like to get three or four
fights this year. I am ready to kick it in full gear and get things going.
I would like to build up my record. There are a couple guys here in MN
that I would like to fight just because things have been brewing.
I would like to start with Sam Morales. I've always wanted to fight him.
He said some things to me on the forum a while back. He made some rude
comments and never really manned up to it. He's been avoiding me and I
know he is as big as me, I know he can fight at my weight. Sam Morales
has fought as high as 153.
What weight do you want to fight at?
I want to fight at 154 and when the fights count, 147. I've been told
that he (Morales) is a lightweight but he has been getting killed at that
weight on the road for money.
Another fight that has been circulating in the past is between you
and Jon Laboda. Is that a fight you want?
Yes, we are going to make that happen. I was offered the fight when I
had a lot of time off. The timing wasn't right because I had not been
fighting in so long but I am ready to go now. I was off for a year but
if they want to make it happen in September, let's do it. I don't have
any problem with that. I don't even need a tune up fight. They turned
down a fight with me every time but now that I have been off for a year
they are asking to fight. But I am going in there with nothing to lose.
I would also like to fight (Dave) Peterson. His dad has been bugging me
at the gym, talking in my ear about how good his son is and stuff. I am
there thinking "Come on! Leave me alone! I am trying to work out
here". I know he is just trying to get to me but I do want to fight
Dave. He walks around pretty big but if he can get down to weight we will
make that one happen too. I would like to fight at around 154. I will
fight Peterson or Laboda at either 147 or 154. Either way, it doesn't
Cerresso Fort is another name that has been floating around. I mean he
is a middleweight but that is who MSC wants me to fight also. I will fight
Cerresso too. If Cerresso can make jr. middleweight then I will fight
him too. 154 but we are gonna weigh in the same day. He is a big guy.
I mean he walks around at around 165 or 168 so hey, let's meet at 154
if you want to fight me.
I don't want to come off as cocky or anything by calling fighters out.
I have worked hard to get where I am at. I know I am not the best but
I think I have always had a good pro style. The way the amateurs are set
up, it's hard to fight and win all of your fights with the style that
I have but I think I have done pretty well. If these guys want to fight
me and use my name then I am just at the point that I want to make them
shut up. We have been talking this whole time, well let's do it then.
Let's give the fans what they want. I'll fight Morales, Laboda, Peterson,
Kliewer and Fort in that order if they want. I've been training my butt
off, I am read.
Anything you would like to add?
I am just ready to fight, build the record up and have a little fun! If
I have to do the ticket sales, that is fine, whatever. I have to earn
my keep or whatever, earn my dues, I am fine with that. I just want to
give Minnesota what they want to see. I know I am not the center of attention
and I don't need to be. Just give me the opportunity because I am willing
to work with anybody. A fair fight, a fair weight at a fair price, that's
all I ask.