Edwin Rodriguez vs. Jason Escalera: Who'll Win This Clash of Unbeatens?
Something will have to give when undefeated rising stars Edwin Rodriguez and Jason Escalera face off on Saturday night for the USBA super middleweight title. It will be a terrific test for both boxers as they look to take the next step.
There are plenty of similarities between the two. Both are 27, have a high knockout percentage and, most importantly, have yet to lose a professional fight. Barring a draw, one of those streaks will end.
Rodriguez is coming off one of his biggest wins, defeating Don George in March to win the title. Most impressive was how he controlled the fight, never giving George a chance to establish his power.
He'll need to utilize a similar game plan against Escalera, who has won 12 of his 14 fights by knockout. If Rodriguez is able set the pace again, he should be able to use his reach advantage to neutralize the American's biggest strength.
Who will win the bout?
Escalera is looking for a bounce-back performance after only being able to earn a draw with Nick Brinson in his last bout. While it's not a terrible result given the competition, it's a fight he could have won if he had fought to his potential.
One factor that might get overlooked is the added pressure of this fight. It will take place on HBO as a part of its "After Dark" series, giving both boxers a chance to shine on the big stage.
That's something neither has had to deal with much during his career. The guy who handles the situation better will give himself an edge, at least in the early rounds.
While Escalera and Rodriguez both have the ability to end the fight in the blink of an eye, Rodriguez should have the overall edge. He's faced tougher competition and has shown he's up to the task every time.
As long as he doesn't leave himself exposed for a haymaker, Rodriguez should be able to wear down Escalera and pick up a late-round KO.
Prediction: Rodriguez by knockout
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