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Andre Ward vs. Edwin Rodriguez: Potential Dangers for Both Fighters

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http://ringnews24.com/images/pixel.gifAndre S.O.G Ward deserves to be the favorite heading into his bout with Edwin "La Bomba" Rodriguez, but that doesn't mean he has an easy task on Saturday night. Ward will defend his WBA super middleweight title against Rodriguez in Ontario, Calif. in his first bout in 14 months.

Both fighters have potential pitfalls they must avoid; here's Ward's.


Ring Rust


After such a long layoff, rust could be an issue. However, because Ward is such a good athlete and a solid professional, it is unlikely. Ward knows the sport as well as any active boxer and he's extremely motivated to remind people that he's one of the best fighters in the world.

He says as much in the press conference that announced the fight. Take a look at the video below.


Rodriguez's Body Work

La Bomba throws a hard left hook to the body. If he can land that punch consistently, he can possibly wear Ward down. The punch was the first shot that hurt Denis Grachev in his last bout. He knocked Grachev out in the first round with a relentless assault that featured a good mix of head and body shots.


As Ward mentions in the video, "he's not that guy," but that doesn't mean a steady body attack can't be a factor.

Here's a look at the biggest dangers for Rodriguez.


Ward's Hand Speed


Rodriguez isn't exactly slow, but his hand speed is nothing like S.O.G's. The champion can fire shots from multiple angles at a dizzying pace. That could especially be a problem considering Rodriguez has a tendency to throw wide punches.

If Rodriguez can't shorten up his punches, Ward will capitalize with blinding counter punches that leave Rodriguez in peril.


Ward's Aggression

Usually Ward is primarily a defensive fighter, but amidst criticism for being boring and renewed confidence in his punching power, Ward may just come out looking to take the fight to Rodriguez. We've rarely seen Ward fight aggressively, but if he does, he could mount an assault Rodriguez can't subdue.


Follow me for news and musings on The Sweet Science.



Read more Boxing news on BleacherReport.com




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