Rodriguez, an experienced New Zealand-based kickboxer, was fighting Tahitian Karihi Tehei when he went down just over half a minute into the bout in Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia on Tahiti.
The French Polynesia Boxing Federation confirmed the 29-year-old died in Papeete’s Taaone hospital an hour after being admitted late on Friday.
“Angels took him from this earth. Taken too soon doing something he loved with a passion,” the family said in a message on his brother Chino’s Facebook page.
Rodriguez, who worked at a gymnasium in Auckland, was described as an experienced fighter of muay thai, also known as Thai kick-boxing, but was taking part in his first professional boxing bout.
He started strongly and took the early initiative, forcing Tehei on to the ropes but when the close fighting began he collapsed and began convulsing, Tahiti’s Radio 1 reported.
According to doctors who first attended Rodriguez Gomez he showed no signs of bleeding nor bruising, the radio report stated.
A spokesperson for New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it was aware of the death of Rodriguez, who also had New Zealand citizenship.
The New Zealand Consulate-General in New Caledonia is liaising with the honorary consul in Tahiti to help the family get information on repatriation arrangements.
The spokesperson said staff are also providing consular assistance to the family.