StubHub Center, Carson, CA, April 30
By Peter Lim
Usually a cerebral boxer-puncher, Rodriguez (28-1, 19 KOs) went punch crazy in his last fight against Michael Seals and was almost knocked out as a result. Rodriguez's sparring partner Cornelius White went punch crazy after trading knockdowns with Williams in 2014 and was subsequently kayoed in a rollercoaster first round. It's safe to say Rodriguez won't make the same mistake against Williams (19-1, 13 KOs), especially since he hasn't ventured into southpaw territory since 2010.
In his only loss, Williams' fragile psyche was exposed when he unraveled after suffering cut against a faded Gabriel Campillo in 2014. That failed gut check will not be lost on Rodriguez and his camp. Rodriguez patiently and methodically breaks Williams down both mentally and physically and stops him in the sixth round.
How foolish was it for Rodriguez to attack a hard-hitting southpaw with reckless abandon. He paid the ultimate price. The ref should have given him a chance to recover in between rounds, though, since he beat the count.