I headed out on the 10, East to Ontario, California recently to help cover a press conference between at the time two undefeated boxers, Andre Ward (26-0) and Edwin Rodriguez (24-0). A friend and I have been following Andre’s professional career for some time – he took America’s last gold medal for boxing at the Olympics and has had a stellar professional career so far. We’ve run a fan site promoting his career since his 10th professional fight and have been fortunate to have attended many of his fights.
On an abnormally warm November day (temps around 35C) we headed all over town making good use of the HOV (carpool lanes). Heading back to LAX where I had to catch a flight that evening – we got off the 105 at Nash and as we were circling around the offramp all the following happened at once: the overheat light came on, we all smelled badly burning rubber, the steering wheel became extremely difficult to turn and most of the brake function failed. We made it through one stoplight somehow and then pulled it into a small parking lot. We popped the hood, opened the radiator cap and brown liquid spewed out, steaming aggressively everywhere, highly dangerous to be close to this mini geyser until it finally cooled. We put 2 gallons of water into it. We were getting ready to leave and then some chap walked by and questioned, “whats the big black belt hanging under your vehicle”. No clue how he saw it but sure enough there it was – burned and hanging by a thread.
As it turned out the car would no longer start. At this point I had to get to the airport. I raced down a side street (running) to Imperial Ave and began running down the sidewalks looking for a shuttle and asking strangers as I passed by – throwing out questions on the breeze, hoping they would produce a timely useful answer. I knew there was a free LAX Shuttle stop near the metro stop but I didn’t quite make that. Ended up jumping on a shuttle from one of the nearby parking lots. But as it was despite the racing heartbeat, I made it to the airport with time to spare!
Post fight note: Andre took this fight as he has all the others in his professional career, making him now 27-0 and ranked number one in the World and USA in his weight division (super middleweight). Legends, Roy Jones, “Iron” Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather were in the audience watching.
Here are some photos from the press conference featuring the promoters, trainers and the two fighters.