BOSTON — Craig Baker left Agganis Arena with the first loss of his professional boxing career in a short, three-round fight Saturday.
Edwin Rodriguez, a Worcester, Mass., native wearing Red Sox trunks and receiving plenty of support from the hometown crowd, won via TKO. The 30-year-old is now 27-1 with 18 career knockouts.
Rodriguez unleashed a few powerful punches and the referee stopped the fight for unanswered strikes to head in Round 3. Even though Baker (16-1, 12 knockouts) wasn’t defending himself well at the end, it seemed to be a bit premature of the referee to end the bout. It’s certainly a frustrating way for any fighter to lose an unbeaten record.
To Rodriguez’s credit, he set up the final blows to the head with many body shots that eventually took their toll on Baker.
“Honestly, he took them well, but anything with a body shot is not instant,” Rodriguez said. “It’s something that you keep hitting him in the same spot it’s like chopping down a tree. You just gotta keep hitting him and keep hitting him. It might not look like you did anything, but in the long run it’s going to slow down his stamina. It did what I wanted it to do, slow him down a little bit, bring the pace down.”
Rodriguez earned an astounding 66-19 edge in power punches connected. It was an overwhelming display of strength that proved too much for Baker.
“I was kinda a little surprised I was hitting him with some hard shots to the head and he was taking them well,” Rodriguez said. “But the accumulation of it could have been too much.”
The next step for Rodriguez is to prove himself with a light heavyweight world title on the line, and he believes he’s ready for that challenge after one of the most convincing wins of his career.
“I’m looking for a title fight right now,” Rodriguez said.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@premierboxing
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