Welterweight prospect Juan Rodriguez Jr. will get a rare home game opportunity when he faces Emmanuel Medina at the Schuetzen Park in North Bergen, N.J. on April 13 in the six-round bout. The 26-year-old Rodriguez (10-0, 4 knockouts) of Union City, N.J. has built his career fighting primarily in Pennsylvania, fighting on cards arranged by his promoter KEA Boxing.
The southpaw Rodriguez, who trains within walking distance to the venue at the Union City Boxing Club, was a 2009 New Jersey Golden Gloves champion in the 152-pound division and made it to the semi-finals of the National Golden Gloves that year before turning pro. Rodriguez hasn’t fought since winning a unanimous decision over Dontre King in August and says the bout with Medina (3-3-1, 3 KOs) of Quincy, Mass. will be his last six-rounder.
In the show’s main event, Alex Perez (16-1, 9 KOs), of Newark, N.J., will face Kenny Abril (14-5-1, 7 KOs), of Rochester, N.Y., in an eight-round welterweight bout. Perez, 30, will be back in action for the first time since his lone loss, a sixth-round TKO loss to Antonin Decarie in September in his HBO debut. Abril, 28, is coming off his career best victory, a split-decision victory over world-rated Dennis Laurente in December.
Ryan Songalia is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and contributes to The Ring magazine and GMA News. He can be reached at [email protected]. An archive of his work can be found at www.ryansongalia.com. Follow him on Twitter: @RyanSongalia.