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WARD PRODUCES MASTERCLASS VICTORY AGAINST RODRIGUEZ

 

 

Ward produces masterclass in one-sided victory against overweight Rodriguez

By Martin Domin   -   dailymail.co.uk

Andre Ward showed little sign of ring rust as he celebrated his overdue return by outclassing Edwin Rodriguez in California on Saturday night.

The WBA super-middleweight champion, whose record boasts victories over Carl Froch and Chad Dawson, had been sidelined for 14 months after undergoing shoulder surgery.

Rodriguez, meanwhile, had weighed in two pounds over the limit on Friday and was therefore unable to win the title and was fined $200,000 of his $1 million purse.

I'm back! Andre Ward celebrates after beating Edwin Rodriguez to retain his world super-middleweight title

I'm back! Andre Ward celebrates after beating Edwin Rodriguez to retain his world super-middleweight title

But he jumped on Ward from the opening bell, attempting to land with his right hand while the champion was content to hold and frustrate. Ward did land with a ram-rod jab towards the end of the first session, a shot that would become a feature of the fight.

Both men brought perfect records into the ring but it was Ward who began to assert his dominance; his left hand particularly effective as the two men traded hooks.

Like a bullet from a shotgun, Ward's jab continued to snap Rodriguez's head back as if it were attached to a spring. The champion was equally effective when switching downstairs to the body.

Class apart: Ward was able to land at will as Rodriguez struggled to compete with the world champion

Class apart: Ward was able to land at will as Rodriguez struggled to compete with the world champion

Andre Ward

But in the fourth round, referee Jack Reiss took centre stage, deducting two points from both men for refusing to break. At one point, Reiss had Ward in a headlock as he attempted to separate him from his adversary.

When the fight resumed, Ward continued to dominate, landing clean whenever Rodriguez allowed him the space to let his hands go.

That pattern continued into the second half of the fight while the challenger had no answer, albeit without showing signs of being hurt.

Break it up: Referee Jack Reiss takes a glancing blow to the face before deducting two points from each man

Break it up: Referee Jack Reiss takes a glancing blow to the face before deducting two points from each man

Break it up: Referee Jack Reiss takes a glancing blow to the face before deducting two points from each man

Rodriguez was nothing if not game, continually looking to land with his right hand but suffering badly at the hands of Ward's counter punching, swinging in vain in response in the 10th round.

He failed to make any inroads over the final six minutes and suffered a cut above his left eye due to an accidental clash of heads in the final stanza.

With the result inevitable, the only matter to settle was the margin of victory.

And there was little surprise when Ward was announced the winner by scores of 118-106, 117-107 and 116-108.

Sourcewww.dailymail.co.uk/sport/boxing/article-2508655/Andre-Ward-beats-Edwin-Rodriguez.html

 

 

 

 

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