test for angel

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Golden Gloves promoter Rodney Berman expects a blazing battle at Emperors Palace on November 17 when Isaac "The Angel" Hlatswayo takes on Delvin Rodriguez for the vacant IBF welterweight number one rating.

"Hlatswayo is a warrior. From what we know of Rodriguez from the Dominican Republic, he is a relentless antagonist who loves fighting in the trenches.

"Moreover, while neither fighter is known as a high voltage KO artist, they can both hit, and that augurs well for a fierce and protracted slugfest," said Berman in a statement.

"That Hlatswayo excelled as both a lightweight and welterweight, winning IBO championships in both weight classes, cannot detract from the enormity of the challenge posed by Rodriguez who has thus far fashioned 14 knockouts as a professional.'

Rodriguez stopped highly respected Oscar Diaz in the eleventh round for the USBA crown in July. Diaz was hospitalised.

Prior to whipping Diaz, Rodriguez had fashioned wins over Luis Hernandez, Keenan Collins and the rapidly improving Troy Browning, adds Berman.

"Don't forget that whereas Rodriguez has fought twice in 2008, the Angel has only tested his nut-brown fists once the entire year, when he halted Australia's Robert Medley in the 10th round of an IBO welterweight defence" said Berman.

Hlatswayo's setback was losing to Kendall Holt in a fairly lopsided fight. For the uninformed, Hlatswayo was dropped in rounds nine, 11 and 12.

"Mind you, there are some respectable scalps on Hlatswayo's war lance, most notably those of Aldo Rios, Phillip Ndou, Cassius Baloyi and Nate Campbell, all of whom he outpointed in exciting contests," added Berman.

Hlatswayo, who beat local warhorse Joseph Makaringe for the IBO welterweight crown, has been looking to secure a meaningful battle at this weight division. Now his wish has come true.

Hlatswayo has a record of 27 wins, a loss and a no-contest while Rodriguez has 23 victories (14 KOs) from 26 battles.