Miguel Cotto made his professional debut in 2001 and won his first 32 fights, 26 by stoppage.
Along the way he collected world titles at 140 and 147 pounds, beating such top-ranked fighters as Paulie Malignaggi, Carlos Quintana, Zab Judah and Shane Mosley.
Cotto was among the biggest stars of the first decade of the century.
But in July 2008, Antonio Margarito came from behind to stop Cotto by punishing TKO in Round 11.
That loss is now viewed as highly suspect. In January 2009, Margarito was caught trying to wrap his hands in plaster before his fight with Shane Mosley. Most fans believe he had used the same dirty trick to wear down Cotto.
Either way, Cotto suffered a lot of damage in the fight. He suffered even more when he lost by Round 12 TKO to Manny Pacquiao in November of the next year.
After his loss to Pacquiao, Cotto moved up to light middleweight and put together a three-fight winning streak. In June of 2010 he captured the WBA 154-pound belt when he stopped Yuri Foreman by Round 9 TKO at Yankee Stadium. He stopped Ricardo Mayorga in 12 in March 2011.
Cotto won a rematch with Margarito in December 2011 by Round 9 TKO. It was among the biggest fights of the year and set Cotto up for a shot at Floyd Mayweather in May 2012. Cotto made that fight more entertaining than many expected it to be, but he ultimately lost by wide margins on the card.
Last December he was beaten decisively again, this time by rising star Austin Trout.
Cotto enters this fight with Rodriguez on a two-fight skid. To get back on track, he has brought in super-trainer Freddie Roach. Cotto remains a very big name, and a good win could set him up for a high-profile showdown with Saul Alvarez.
But he'll have to beat Rodriguez first, and that should not be viewed as an automatic result.
Rodriguez may be a journeyman, but he's a high-class journeyman. He has consistently fought high-level talent and put on entertaining fights.
He fought to a draw with Pawel Wolak in July 2011 in a fight that many viewed as the best of the year. He won a rematch with Wolak on the Margarito-Cotto undercard by wide margins.
Rodriguez lost by near shutout to Trout in June 2012. He has rebounded with a two-fight win streak, stopping previously unbeaten George Tahdooahnippah in six last February and Freddy Hernandez in eight this past May.
A fight with Cotto is the kind of big-time opportunity Rodriguez has been awaiting for his entire career. He's an experienced professional, and he'll come prepared to take advantage of this opportunity.