LeShawn Rodriguez today holds a solid record, 7-0, with 6 KOs, and he comes quite highly recommended by the matchmaker at his promoter’s office, Jolene Mizzone of Main Events.
And if not for the fact that a teen LeShawn was on that all too typical wayward path, and got snagged by law enforcement and sentenced to a stint where he could only leave home for very specific reasons, Main Events would not be able to boast having this particular brand of talent on the roster.
“Lightning LeShawn is a future star,” Mizzone told me of the Long Island, NY resident. “The thing that impresses me the most about him, just like Pernell Whitaker and Sergey Kovalev, he just loves to fight! It’s fun to watch someone who you know just loves what he is doing. That’s entertaining. Add in the skill level, the fluid combinations, the speed and the power, LeShawn has it all.”
You can judge for yourself the accuracy of Mizzone’s assessement if you hit the Madison Square Garden Theater on Saturday night. Rodriguez, co-promoted by Long Island attorney Michael Zagarino, will glove up underneath the Sergey Kovalev-Vyacheslav Shabtranskyy light heavweight tiff.
“It’s a crazy story how I started boxing,” Rodriguez told listeners of the Everlast “Talkbox” podcast. “I was getting in trouble a lot. And I got an ankle bracelet, on my ankle, from getting in trouble. I got arrested, they put a homing device on me."
"I always played football, and I tried to join football again, but I couldn’t play because of the ankle device. If it would have broke I would have had to pay for it, and I cant pay for stuff like that. The only way I could leave the house was if I played a sport, so I couldn’t play out, so I found out there was a boxing coach in my complex, in Ridge, NY.
“It’s a rough complex over there. Boxing, they let me in the gym, so that’s how I started my boxing. That’s the only way I could leave the house, so I got good at it.”
The boxer said he grew up with his mom, his bro and her boyfriend and “that’s really it.” He clearly didn’t enjoy the memories of his upbringing and wasn’t keen to revisit those times. Boxing, LeShawn said, kept him on the right track.
Alex Sandro Duarte (13-2-1, 10 KO) will seek to get the Islander off track Saturday.
“I’m going to knock him out. He’s been knocked out twice so I’m gonna give him a third,” the visitor to Everlast told us.
And no, he wasn't wearing any ankle jewelry, for the record.
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