Nicholas Rodriguez, a Montclair State University junior, will sing the National Anthem at the Tyson Fury versus Steve Cunningham 12-round heavyweight fight at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on April 20.
Rodriguez, who is in the Musical Theatre Program, was also featured this season on American Idol. He won the American Idol Experience at Disney World, Florida, which vaulted him into the New York City auditions for the popular TV show. He received positive reviews from Idol judges Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey, Keith Urban, and Randy Jackson, and earned a "Golden Ticket" to the Hollywood Week round of the competition. Rodriguez did not make it into the American Idol Top 10 this season, but still appears to have a big career ahead of him.
He was also recently profiled on NBC Dateline, and can be seen on the webisode American Idol: The Road to Hollywood. Rodriguez's performance credits on campus include The Break, Rags, Sweet Charity, and last season's critically acclaimed production of Kiss of the Spider Woman. The Bordentown, NJ, native is a past recipient of the prestigious Sterling Scholarship, and has already been cast in the role of Black, in the upcoming campus production of Andrew Lippa's Wild Party.
The fight will be broadcast at 4 p.m. (EST) on NBC as a special two-hour afternoon presentation of NBC Fight Night. Tickets are priced at $50, $100, $250 and $500. Tickets are available at the Madison Square Garden box office, through Ticketmaster and 866-858-0008.