Chordale Booker is taking the initiative and making moves. He hopes that will eventually pay off in a world title opportunity.
Booker will face Julio de Jesus Rodriguez tonight at the Bavaro Convention Center in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. The eight-round junior middleweight bout will be part of the Shuan Boxing Promotion card that will stream live on the Shuan Boxing YouTube page (7 p.m. ET/ 4 p.m. PT).
The card will take place as the World Boxing Organization (WBO) holds their annual meeting in Punta Cana.
The 32-year-old Booker (20-1, 9 knockouts) last fought on August 12, knocking out Nicolas Hernandez in the seventh round. The fight took place at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut, not far from his home in nearby Stamford.
In his previous fight on April 22, Booker knocked out Daniel Aduku in the fourth round, winning a regional title belt in the process. Booker has won his last three fights since a knockout loss to unbeaten middleweight Austin Williams on April 30 of last year.
Tonight’s fight against Rodriguez will be Booker’s fourth fight of 2023. He had only fought once in 2020, 2021, and 2022.
Manager Paul Guarino is confident a big opportunity awaits Booker after he gets past Rodriguez.
“We are staying active and ready while building his brand, inside and outside the ring,” Guarino told Boxingscene Tuesday evening. “Chordale is a promotional free agent and we’re looking for a good fit for him. Julio de Jesus Rodriguez is another great veteran opponent and we are not looking past him.
“This is Chordale’s comeback year, coming off his first loss. We had to take one step back to take two steps forward. Three wins in his home state in Connecticut, where he was the co-main and main event. It has been nothing short of hard work and grinding, selling over $40,000 worth of tickets in those three fights. (It is) something people don’t see on the business side of boxing.
“(We are) looking to crack the top 15 in the WBO. Going into 2024, we’re looking to get a world title for any of the belts out there (including), the WBO, WBC, WBA, IBF or IBO. Consistency is key.”
Rodriguez (27-6, 24 KOs), who resides in San Francisco de Macoris in the Dominican Republic, has not fought since losing by unanimous decision to prospect Bryan Perez-Maldonado on April 28. The 41-year-old has lost his last five fights, including knockout losses to Kanat Islam and middleweight prospect Euri Cedeno.
Also on the Shuan Boxing card, Angel Cruz Johnson (10-0, 9 KOs) of nearby Samana will square off against Mexico’s Jorge Garcia Perez (26-4, 22 KOs) in an eight-round junior middleweight bout.
Middleweight prospect Marcos Osorio-Betancourt (11-0-1, 8 KOs) of Puerto Rico will face Colombia’s Dormedes Potes (13-4-1, 10 KOs) in a 10-round bout.
In a clash of unbeaten super middleweights, Ernesbadi Begue (9-0, 6 KOs), who is originally from Cuba and now resides in the Dominican Republic, will square off against Juan Diego Ortiz (7-0, 6 KOs) in a 10-round bout.
In a clash of unbeaten featherweights who reside in the Dominican Republic, Miguel Queliz Santos (7-0, 2 KOs) will face Yermi Peralta Jimenez (10-0, 6 KOs) in an eight-round bout.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for BoxingScene since September 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing