Miguel Cotto takes the great welterweight challenge vs. Martinez
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Rodriguez is one of the most underrated former welterweight champs in history. The superbly skilled Cuban faced the best 147 pounders and middleweights of the 1960s, including Griffith (who he fought four close distance bouts with), Benvenuti, Curtis Cokes (three times), Virgil Akins and Rubin “Hurricane” Carter (who he twice outpointed). Rodriguez won 107 of 121 bouts.
Won welterweight title: On March 21, 1963, outpointing Emile Griffith over 15 rounds.
Fought for middleweight title: On Nov. 22, 1969, against Nino Benvenuti, who knocked him out in Round 11 with a single left hook (Rodriguez had troubled Benvenuti throughout the bout and badly cut the defending champ over his left eye prior to the sudden stopapge).
Hall of fame induction: 1997