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LeShawn Rodriguez wins in Chile

Shirley middleweight Le'Shawn Rodriguez (center), with trainer Eddie

Shirley middleweight Le'Shawn Rodriguez (center), with trainer Eddie Murphy (right). Credit: Atlantic-Memorial Veteran's Boxing Club

Shirley middleweight LeShawn Rodriguez took a big step toward the 2013 World Boxing Championships after winning his tournament opener at the Men's Continental Championships in Santiago, Chile on Friday.

Rodriquez closed Friday’s action for the United States squad with a third round knockout of the Bahamas' Carl Heild. Rodriguez will face Yasiel Despaigne in the second round on Saturday.

It's been quite a ride for Rodriguez, who fights out of the Atlantic-Veterans Memorial Boxing Gym in Shirly. He won the Olympic Cup in Puerto Rico in July.

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