Pawel Wolak vs. Delvin Rodriguez

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2011-07-15 : Pawel Wolak 153½ lbs drew with Delvin Rodriguez 153 lbs by MD in round 10 of 10

--- 2011 Boxing Writers Association of America Fight of the Year ---


  • Pawel Wolak 29-1 (19 KOs) vs. Delvin Rodriguez 24-5-2 (14 KOs)
  • Wolak entered as the # 8 junior middleweight in the world according to The Ring Magazine. Rodriguez, a 5/1 betting underdog [1], was unranked by the same publication. [2]
  • For Rodriguez, who was fighting as a junior middleweight for the first time in his professional career, it was his first bout since July of 2010 and he entered with a record of 2-3-1 in his previous six fights dating back to November of 2008.
  • Wolak had momentum coming into the fight after a surprisingly dominant performance over Yuri Foreman. Meanwhile, Rodriguez was coming off a one-year layoff after a highly controversial decision loss to Ashley Theophane.
  • Both fighters received purses of $15,000.

Bout Summary

Wolak in the post-fight interview

The pace and the action of the fight remained consistent from beginning to end, with Wolak seeking to get inside while Rodriguez tried to create space. In the 4th round Wolak developed a massive, disfiguring hematoma on his right temple that, by the end of the fight, would completely close his right eye. Rodriguez appeared to seize control in the later rounds, even though Wolak continued to pressure him relentlessly. Most of the drama in the later rounds involved Wolak's injury, which grew increasingly grotesque with each passing round. When ringside doctors consulted referee Steve Smoger about the seriousness of the injury, Smoger replied, "It's ugly, but I don't mind." Smoger would be praised by ringside commentators Teddy Atlas and Joe Tessitore for his nonintrusive performance.