Mexican challenger Francisco Rodriguez Jr. is keeping himself out of the public eye in the run-up to his shot at Donnie Nietes’ world light-flyweight crown in Cebu.
Filipino promoter Michael Aldeguer, who is staging the July 11 battle between Nietes and Rodriguez at the Waterfront Hotel, has virtually been kept out of the dark as to the whereabouts of Rodrguez and his party.
“What I know is that they arrived here last week but I don’t know exactly where they are at in Manila,” said Aldeguer from Cebu, noting that Rodriguez’s group doesn’t respond to text messages.
There are reports that Rodrigues has been working out at one of the Elorde boxing facilities scattered all over Metro Manila.
As the promoter, Aldeguer has to take care of the 21-year-old Rodriguez and his group while in the country but that arrangement only takes effect starting today as per their agreement.
Even when Aldeguer’s fighters go abroad to campaign, Mexican promoters practice the same arrangement as far as accommodations are concerned.
“If you want to come early, you have to pay (for hotel and other expenses) and that’s exactly what they did,” added Aldeguer, whose show in Cebu is dubbed Pinoy Pride 31.
While Rodriguez is making himself scarce, the 33-year-old Nietes has been very visible in training, making heads turn with his impressive showing during workouts.
Aldeguer said Nietes, who is making the seventh defense of the WBO 108-lb throne he won in October 2011, is eager to pull off some sort of a payback come fight night.
Rodriguez is the same fighter who beat up Nietes’ stablemate Merlito Sabillo.
Nietes has actually beaten all 12 Mexicans lined up against him and the Cebu-based Negros-born puncher feels Rodriguez is going to end up like the others.
Nietes has a 35-4-1 win- loss-draw record with 21 KOs, while Rodriguez, who comes from Monterrey, has a 17-2-1 mark with 11 KOs.
Courtesy of Nick Giongco of the Manila Bulletin. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickSpeaks