Edwin Rodriguez Thrills His Hometown Fans with a Thunderous Stoppage over Late-Sub Ibahiem King
Photography By Emily Harney
One of the premiere super middleweight prospects in the world, Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez, thrilled a crowd of boisterous supporters with a fifth round knockout over tough lefty Ibahiem King on Thursday night at Mechanics Hall in Worcester, Mass. Rodriguez vs. King headlined Homecoming II, a special presentation of DiBella Entertainment’s Broadway Boxing series.
Topping a thrilling undercard was 20 year old Ryan “The Polish Prince” Kielczewski, of nearby Quincy, Mass., winning a unanimous decision over game challenger Juan Nazario, of Miami. Other locals, Rashad Minor and Sonya Lamonakis, were also victorious, along with fast-rising light heavyweight prospect Isiah Thomas, of Detroit.
Even 48 hours before stepping into the ring, Rodriguez (16-0, 12 KOs) was expecting to be challenged by hard-nosed veteran Gabriel Holguin of Laredo, TX. But after Holguin encountered family problems, King, a slick southpaw by way of West Palm Beach, FL, jumped at the opportunity to take on Rodriguez, recently named as one of the Prospects of the Year by ESPN.com.
King (7-4, 2 KOs) proved to be a step up in class for Rodriguez, 25, who was fighting in front of a near capacity crowd in Worcester, the city in which he was born and raised. However, from the outset Rodriguez was determined to crack King’s tricky style with a constant onslaught of punches.
“He was tough,” said Rodriguez of King. “As a southpaw, he had his complications, and we had to figure them out.”
Figure them out, he did. Using a formula of digging to the body to set up vicious shots to the head, Rodriguez finally put King down, for only the second time in his career, in the opening moments of round five. King, who had never been stopped prior to Thursday night, gamely arose only to be sent to the canvas again by a booming right hand.
Immediately upon hitting the deck for the second time referee Javier Colon stopped the bout, lifting the crowd of 1,129 to their feet. The official time was 1:06.
It was triumphant return to the ring, and his hometown, after “La Bomba” had hit the road for his last two fights, scoring knockout wins on ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights and Showtime’s ShoBox series, respectively.
“I was able to catch him with good shots,” said Rodriguez. “I knew I had to keep the pressure on and finish him.”
For promoter Lou DiBella, it was another step in the right direction for Rodriguez, who has looked more and more impressive with each outing.
“It was a good performance on just one day notice against a tough southpaw,” said DiBella. “It was a great job by my matchmaker, Joe Quiambao, for finding such a game opponent. Edwin is just an offensive machine.”
Full Results from Worcester, Mass:
Edwin Rodriguez (16-0, 12 KOs) TKO5 (1:06) Ibahiem King (7-4, 2 KOs)
Ryan Kielczewski (8-0, 2 KOs) UD6 (60-55, 60-55, 60-55) Juan Nazario (6-3-1, 4 KOs)
Rashad Minor (4-1, 3 KOs) UD4 (40-36, 40-36, 40-36) Reginald Jackson (2-2, 2 KOs)
Sonya Lamonakis (1-0, 1 KO) TKO2 (:45) Kasondra Hardnett (0-3)
Isiah Thomas (7-0, 4 KOs) UD6 (58-55, 58-55, 58-55) Larry Pryor (6-7, 4 KOs)
Richard Pierson (9-2, 6 KOs) TKO1 (2:32) Reynaldo Rodriguez (5-1, 2 KOs)