Tonight at 10:00 pm EST on HBO and BoxNation (UK), Andre Ward will face Edwin Rodriguez in what is now a non-title fight, after Rodriguez failed to make weight yesterday, paying a $200,000 fine for the fight to still go ahead as planned.
Ward (26-0, 14 KO) was already a major favorite in the bout, even with over a year of inactivity, as he has dominated the super middleweight division since his 2009 win over Mikkel Kessler, which started his dominant triumph in the Super Six World Boxing Classic, eventually leading him to a move to HBO as one of its new cornerstone stars.
Rodriguez (24-0, 16 KO) won a short tournament this year in Monte Carlo, beating Denis Grachev in the finals via first round TKO. But Rodriguez clearly is going to have to move up to light heavyweight after being unable to make weight yesterday. All he can do tonight is shoot for the upset, but promoter Lou DiBella worries that he may have handicapped himself trying desperately to make 168, with his body tapping out at 170.