William Cruz, the trainer of IBF champ Emmanuel Rodriguez, explains why he pushed Naoya Inoue’s trainer at the media workout for Saturday’s WBSS bantamweight semi-final at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow.
“Team Inoue think they will beat us, and there is a lot of fans thinking ‘Manny’ will lose,” said Cruz. “But on May 18 Emmanuel Rodriguez will still be unbeaten. He will still be Puerto Rico’s world champion. For the ones who don’t believe it, you’ll see!”
The 28-year-old trainer, who has been with Rodriguez for five months, caused controversy when he pushed Shingo Inoue, Nagoya Inoue’s trainer-father, at Tuesday’s media workout.
“I don’t have a problem with the press doing their job,” said Cruz. “But Team Inoue was there watching and filming us training. So I played my part and put myself in front of them to make them stop filming. That’s the way it is.”
“As soon as ‘Manny’ arrived they started to look at him with an attitude to intimidate him. We didn’t come here to play. We came here to make them respect us. This is a war and it will end with our hand up. On Saturday people will see that the ‘Monster’ it’s not Inoue, it’s Rodriguez!”
“I trust the plan that I have made with my new coach William,” Said Rodriguez. “We have good chemistry and the result will show. This will be the first time that I’m not the favorite in a fight, but the motivation is huge. We want to make sure Puerto Rico continues to shine in boxing.”
Tickets for the Monster WBSS Semi-Finals night, Ivan Baranchyk vs Josh Taylor and Naoya Inoue vs Emmanuel Rodriguez on 18 May at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland are on sale now from TheSSEHydro.com
All the action will be live on DAZN in the U.S. and Sky Sports in the U.K.
WBSS Season 2 Semi-Finals:
27 April – Cajundome, Lafayette, LA, USA
- Regis Prograis vs Kiryl Relikh – Prograis W TKO6
- Nonito Donaire vs Stephon Young – Donaire W KO6
- Josh Taylor vs Ivan Baranchyk
- Naoya Inoue vs Emmanuel Rodriguez
15 June – Arena Riga, Riga, Latvia
- Mairis Briedis vs Krzysztof Glowacki
- Yunier Dorticos vs Andrew Tabiti