For Delvin Rodriguez, toil finally pays off

NEW YORK -- Delvin Rodriguez has been a "Friday Night Fights" staple for the past few years. And that's no small potatoes, nothing to scoff at. That means a boxer has arrived ... to an extent.

The purses you get to fight for on FNF can't compare to the those on HBO, or on pay-per-view, as Delvin Rodriguez of Danbury, Conn., will be doing for the first time on Saturday night.

HBO and pay-per-view can mean a house, savings for the kids' college fund. It can be a most-sweet payoff in this tough trade, and can make those 5 a.m. wakeup calls to do the roadwork and those omnipresent bumps, bruises and muscle and tendon tears more palatable.

If Rodriguez (25-5-3 with 14 KOs) can get the better of New Jersey's Pawel Wolak (age 30, 29-1-1 with 19 KOs) at Madison Square Garden, and do a bit more than he did on July 15 when the two men thrilled the FNF audience and battled to a draw, he will get that much closer to those meatier payouts.

Rodriguez, 31, is a solid boxer-puncher, a versatile pugilist who is comfortable outside or inside. He moves his feet to get angles and moves his head to avoid getting hit. He probably has the skills edge going in to the sequel. "The first fight, I was out of the ring for a year," he said. "It did take me a couple rounds to get into a rhythm. This time there's going to be no four rounds warming up."

Watch this video, which should give you a better idea of the stakes up for grabs when Rodriguez and Wolak thrown down in NYC.