Former Title Contenders Headline FNF This Week

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

This week’s edition of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights will be headlined by a pair of former title contenders facing off against each other.  Former Junior Middleweight and Welterweight title challenger Delvin Rodriguez (27 – 6 – 3, 15 KOs) will face off against former Welterweight title challenger Freddy “El Riel” Hernandez (30 – 4, 1 ND, 20 KOs) in the 10-round Junior Middleweight main event.  The main event fight will air live from the Mohegan Sun arena in Uncasville, CT at 10pm ET.  It will air on ESPN2 HD, ESPN Deportes, and WatchESPN and the WatchESPN app. 

Rodriguez, a CT native, will be the hometown favorite.  If his name rings a bell, it should.  Rodriguez also serves as a boxing analyst for ESPN Deportes.  Friday’s fight will be his sixteenth appearance in the ring on Friday Night Fights.  His record speaks for itself.  His 2011 fight against Pawel Wolak was named the year’s “Fight of the Year” by the Boxing Writers Association of America.”  A later ten-round unanimous decision win over Wolak gave Rodriguez a shot at defending titlist Austin Trout.  The ten-round fight was broadcast live on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights.  It ended in a draw.  He claimed a win in his most recent fight this past February.  He defeated George Tahdooahnippah with a sixth-round TKO.  He also has wins against Mike Arnaoutis, Shamone Alvarez, and Oscar Diaz.

Rodriguez’s opponent, Freddy “El Riel” Hernandez, comes into tomorrow’s fight with quite the record, too.  Hernandez challenged former titlist Andre Berto for his WBC Welterweight title in 2010.  He holds wins over former world titlists Luis Callazo (W10) Mike Anchondo (WTKO4), and DeMarcus Corley (KO5).  He comes into tomorrow’s fight looking to rebound after losing his most recent match this past January to 2008 Olympian Demetrius Andrade.  Hernandez lost the fight in a ten-round unanimous decision.

Hernandez’s advisor Nigel Burns commented on what Hernandez needs in order to add another notch to his “W” column.  “He (Hernandez) needs to get a ‘W’ now to get some more opportunities, and he’s fighting a guy who’s going to give him that opportunity,”, he said.  “That’s not a knock on Rodriguez, but Rodriguez is more of a fighter than a boxer. I think it should be a good fight. Rodriguez is a good fighter and has fought some good people, and I expect him to actually stand in the pocket and trade with us.”

Friday’s main event will be preceded by a ten-round co-feature pitting the undefeated Junior Welterweight Issouf “Volcano” Kinda (16 – 0, 6 KOs)  against Chris “Hurricane” Howard ( 15 – 2 – 1, 7 KOs)  Kinda comes into tomorrow’s bout fresh on the heels of a second-round KO win over Javier Loya in his most recent fight.  Howard comes into tomorrow’s fight after taking an upset third-round TKO win over Bayan Jargal. 

Before all of this, ESPN2 and WatchESPN will air a pair of specials leading up to the night’s fights.  They will air The Best KOs of Friday Night Fights at 9pm ET and Mike Tyson’s Greatest Hits at 9:30pm ET. 

Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas will both be on hand to call all the action from ringside, while Todd Grisham will have all the latest boxing news and more from the ESPN studios.  Pablo Viruega and Leopoldo Gonzalez will call all the action for ESPN Deportes with Claudia Trejos live in studio.  Bernardo Osuna will have live interviews and reports for ESPN2 HD and ESPN Deportes.

To keep up with the latest FNF news and more, “Like” the FNF Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/espn.fnf.  Fans can also follow all the latest from the show on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ESPNFNF and http://twitter.com/ESPNBoxeo.  Fans can score the match live at home thanks to the “Live Friday Night Fights Facebook voting app. 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

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