Rodriguez will serve as one half of the evening’s main event when he meets Shamone Alvarez in an IBF title-eliminator for Joshua Clottey’s belt. As a ‘Star Boxing’ stable mate, few peers could offer Serrano more in terms of physical and mental preparation.
In 2007, Rodriguez suffered a shocking defeat on the same airwaves to underdog Jesse Feliciano. In a bout Rodriguez was dominating, he ran out of gas, suffered a TKO, and watched Feliciano move on to challenge Kermit Cintron
for a portion of the welterweight title. And then in July of 2008, Rodriguez defeated Oscar Diaz, only to see his foe slip into a coma immediately after the fight. Miraculously Diaz recovered and was released from the hospital on February 23rd. Rodriguez hopes that his own experiences will help Serrano in the future.
“As a more experienced professional I try to help out in any way I can,” Rodriguez explained. “Hopefully what I’m trying to tell (Serrano) will benefit him and make him a better fighter both physically and mentally.”
In Mike Jones, Serrano gets to see the corrupt side of the sport up close. Jones is 16-0 (14) currently ranked No.11 by the WBA and IBF, but instead of headlining a “Boxing After Dark” or “ShoBox”, Jones finds himself headlining a show at the Blue Horizon in Philadelphia – off television.
Although there is no reason for Serrano to apologize, hopefully he will realize that the opportunity to fight in front of the cameras is a privilege and not a birth right. Something that Serrano seems to have in perspective.
“I wanna look good,” said Serrano. “Although a win is most important, I know that everyone will be watching, and I want to impress people. The rest is up to my team. I hope to stay active like last year (fought 6 times in 2008), fight a few more eight rounders, and then move up to ten.”
If Serrano is able to handle exposure and fame with the same humbleness and maturity that he possesses at nineteen; people will have no choice but to notice, and to be impressed.