Jose Rodriguez secured his second victory last Friday, moving to 2-0
Set to turn 50 years old just days later, Plant City Boxing Gym owner Jose Rodriguez moved his professional record to 2-0 after securing a victory via corner stoppage following the first round of his second professional fight last Friday.
Rodriguez’s opponent Jeremy McGuire, 45, entered T&K Promotions’ Florida Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend event carrying an 0-1 record.
After the opening bell sounded, Rodriguez kept pressure throughout the round, throwing a number of heavy right hooks despite fighting through what would later be revealed as a broken hand suffered less than a month before the scheduled bout.
Rodriguez scored a knockdown that ultimately resulted in a broken nose for McGuire and his corner called a stop to the fight before the start of the second round.
“We just go to war in there and take care of business,” Rodriguez said after his win. “Win, lose, or draw, I’ll be aggressive because I’ve got to keep you thinking.”
With his hand raised before a crowded ballroom at the St. Petersburg Marriott Clearwater, including his fellow trainers and some of the gym’s young fighters in attendance, Rodriguez was able to soak in another special moment. For the first time, he fought with his son Luis Ocasio, 20, in his corner. Ocasio had been at his father’s fights before, but had never before shared the corner with Rodriguez’s trainer Jason Crosby.
“It’s very meaningful for me,” Ocasio said. “This is something that he’s always wanted and to see him accomplish his dreams, it only motivates me to accomplish mine as well. And knowing that he’s doing it at the age of 50, and I’m young now? It’s telling me, ‘Hey, if he’s doing it now, get on your grind and do your thing.’”
But as Rodriguez has said before, his two professional bouts have not been solely about winning. Win, lose, or draw, these fights work as examples to show the young fighters at Plant City Boxing Gym, like Eric Denson what can be accomplished at any age with hard work and perseverance.
At 16, Denson has amassed a 16-4 record himself as an amateur boxer.
“Just training with him, we’ve built a father-son relationship,” Denson said about the six years that he’s been training under Rodriguez. “It’s not really coach anymore, it’s a father-son relationship. And seeing him train at 50 years old is crazy, sparring with him is crazy. At 50, he’s not really 50, he moves like he’s 25.”
And despite his age, Rodriguez isn’t done. He has accomplished his dream of turning pro and has even found some success doing it. While his future in the sport is uncertain, he still has one more fight scheduled for later in the summer on Aug. 28.
“It’s a great thing,” Rodriguez said. “It’s lovely. Without God, none of this would have happened.”