Corey Rodriguez is not your typical boxer. Yes, he comes from a long line of fighters (his uncle Ralph fought Sugar Ray Leonard and both he and Corey’s uncle Bobby are in the Minnesota Boxing Hall of Fame), but Corey has taken a circuitous path to boxing success. Corey grew up fighting, but always knew he wanted to do more than just box.

At age 18, despite a promising amateur career, Corey decided to head west to California to pursue his degree in Engineering. Corey graduated and went to work as an Engineer in California, but eventually decided to return to Minnesota to find a new job. Upon returning to Minnesota, Corey decided to resume the boxing career he had left in favor of continuing his education. Before leaving for California he had won an Upper Midwest Golden Gloves title, and upon returning he picked up 2 more titles.

Corey Rodriguez comes from a long-line of boxers but has also had a successful career in engineering.

Corey Rodriguez comes from a long-line of boxers but has also had a successful career in engineering.

Despite making good money as an engineer, Corey eventually decided to turn pro and continue the Rodriguez tradition. Fast forward a few years to 2014 and Corey is the reigning Minnesota State Light Middleweight Champion with a record that stands at 12-3-3. Even more impressively he works full time as a Senior Quality Engineer for Medtronic, making sure that the lifesaving medical devices his company produces work as designed.

Juggling these two very different passions is difficult for Corey, but staying in shape and using his intelligence in the ring has allowed him to maximize his boxing career. Last Saturday, Corey defeated Brandon Quarles of Virginia in an 8-round main event at Black Bear Casino in Carlton, MN on a stacked Jungle Boy Boxing card. The fight exemplified Rodriguez’s style – he was caught with a couple of good shots early in the fight but kept coming forward and eventually wore Quarles down as he won a unanimous decision victory.

The fight was a difficult one for both fighters, and Corey had to overcome a cut caused by a head-butt in just the 1st round. At age 35, Corey is doing his best work both in and outside of the ring and has climbed to a top 30 US ranking at 154 pounds. While it hasn’t always been easy, Corey Rodriguez has shown that there is no such thing as a typical boxer. Watch for Corey on future cards as he continues to see where his boxing career will take him. One thing is certain, Corey is a well-rounded individual with a passion for boxing and without a doubt the baddest engineer in Minnesota.