Home Boxing News Kozlin, Rodriguez lace ’em up again in hopes of settling the score...

Kozlin, Rodriguez lace ’em up again in hopes of settling the score from previous fight

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (July 13, 2012) – Keith Kozlin says there’s no way he didn’t beat Reynaldo Rodriguez the first time they fought last summer. His opponent disagrees.

The only logical solution is to fight again, which these two super middleweights will do Thursday, July 19th, 2012 when they face off in a six-round intrastate showdown on the undercard of Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment & Sports’ “Built To Last” professional boxing event at the Twin River Event Center in Lincoln, R.I.

Their first fight in July of 2011 – a four-rounder – ended in a draw with both fighters trading knockdowns in the final round. Two of the judges scored it even at 38-38 while the other judge favored Kozlin by a score of 40-36. Now they’ll square off again, this time in a six-rounder, which could be the deciding factor.

“With two extra rounds the first time around, I would’ve at least won or knocked him out. I need those rounds,” said Rodriguez (6-4-1, 3 KOs), a Woonsocket, R.I., native. “I’m definitely in way better shape this time. I’m going to win. With the way I’m training, I don’t think it’ll even go six rounds.”

“[Six rounds] favors me in the long run,” countered Kozlin. “I wouldn’t say I’m a slow starter, but I pick up the pace as I go along. I have a work rate and love to stay busy. I throw a lot of punches. Whatever he brings, I’ll be ready for.”

Both fighters could use a win. After knocking out local favorite Richard “Bobo” Starnino in October, Rodriguez stepped outside of New England and lost back-to-back fights in Washington and California, while Kozlin (6-3-1, 4 KOs), a West Warwick native, hasn’t won since July of 2010 and is 0-2-1 in his last three fights, which includes a loss to Woonsocket’s Joe Gardner in November of 2010, a loss he had hoped to avenge on next week’s card.

“That’s the fight I wanted,” Kozlin said, “but I’ve kind of come to terms with the fact it won’t happen. He’s scared. I know that now. I just need a win. It would do a lot for me. Nobody wants to keep seeing me fight if I lose or get draws. They want to see wins, and they want to see knockouts.”

Kozlin’s confident he’ll come out on top based primarily on his workload over the past 11 weeks, which he admits was a problem prior to his first fight against Rodriguez.

“I saw he had gotten knocked out [against Greg McCoy] before he fought me, so I thought, ‘I can do that! I don’t have to train hard,'” Kozlin said. “I didn’t think it’d be a hard fight.

“I learned my lesson. I learned not to take anyone lightly. I wasn’t anywhere near my peak conditioning for that fight, but I am now and it’ll show.”

Yet regardless of his lack of training, Kozlin still thinks he won the first fight, especially since one of the three judges had him winning all four rounds despite the knockdown.

“He definitely did not win that fight. No way,” Kozlin said. “I got robbed real bad. The one upside he had was a flash knockdown, and then I knocked him down. I outworked him. He was running a lot, so I cut the ring off. I was the aggressor. All in all, it was a good fight, but I overlooked him. I won’t make that mistake again.”

“I thought I slipped, but they called it a knockdown,” Rodriguez said. “It was a good fight, and he’s a good fighter. I have nothing bad to say about him. Hopefully, this fight will be better and I’ll win this time, but, yeah, I think I won the first one. I put more pressure on him in the last 10 to 20 seconds of each round. I basically out-boxed him. I thought I won, but they called it a draw.”

Like Kozlin, Rodriguez is hoping a victory can launch the next stage of his career. The only catch is someone must win, otherwise we could be talking trilogy in the near future.

“This can open a lot of doors. That’s the way I look at it,” he said. “We’ll see on the 19th.”

Tickets for “Built To Last” are $40.00, $75.00 and $125.00 (VIP) and can be purchased by calling CES at 401.724.2253/2254, online at www.cesboxing.com or www.twinriver.com, at the Players Club booth at Twin River, or through any TicketMaster location. Doors open 6 p.m. with the first bout scheduled for 7.

Providence native and reigning New England super middleweight champion Vladine Biosse (13-1-1, 6 KOs) will star in the eight-round main event against face Saskatchewan, Canada naitve Mike Walchuk (9-5, 2 KOs) while Providence’s Matt “Too Smooth” Godfrey (20-3, 10 KOs) will face veteran Jesse Oltmans (10-3, 7 KOs) of Bartonsville, Pa., in the six-round co-feature.

Attleboro, Mass., light heavyweight Rich Gingras (11-3, 7 KOs) will be featured in a special six-round attraction. Also on the undercard, light heavyweight Kevin Cobbs (4-0, 1 KO) of Burlington, Vt., will battle Queens’ native Donte Wiggins (1-0, 1 KO) in a four-round bout and Pawtucket, R.I., middleweight Thomas Falowo (6-1, 4 KOs) will look to bounce back from his first loss in May when he faces Rahman Yusebov (8-8, 6 KOs) of Dallas in a six-round bout. Benny Costantino (7-1, 4 KOs) of Warwick, R.I., will face Dennis Ogboo (6-5, 5 KOs) of Lexington, Ky., in a four-round middleweight bout.

Lightweight Zack Ramsey (1-0, 1 KO) of Springfield, Mass., will face newcomer Alberto Manukyan (0-0) of North Bergen, N.J., in a four-round bout and welterweight newcomer Jansy Rivera (0-0) of Providence (San Juan, Puerto Rico) will face Thaddeus Hamlin (1-1, 1 KO) of Cincinnati, Ohio in a four-round bout. All fights and fighters are subject to change.

(Twin River has waived its 18+ rule for “Built to Last.” Anybody under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult and must enter through the West entrance.)


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