Bam Rodriguez, who is sniffing at Fighter of the Year honors for 2022 at the year’s halfway point, gets another chance to grow his expanding fanbase on Sept. 17. The WBC super flyweight champ will strut his stuff on the Canelo Alvarez v GGG 3 card in Las Vegas, against Israel Gonzalez.
Bam Rodriguez has been on the radars of harcores for a spell, but he moved to another level with his handling of Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (50-5-1 entering) on June 25th.
Bam Rodriguez holds a 16-0 11 KOs record, and is in the mix as a pound for pounder with his exploits of late. He beat Carlos Cuadras in February, grabbing the vacant ‘BC strap after taking the assignment on ultra short notice. Last month, he continued to attract attention for his ring wizardry by stopping the 35 year old Srisaket, who went in confident he’d be too strong for the 22 year old southpaw.
Gonzalez, age 25, owns a 28-4-1 11 KOs mark. He’s gotten shots versus Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez, Kal Yafai and Jerwin Ancajas for belts at 115, and will see if the fourth times a charm versus the streaking Bam. Perhaps warring on Mexican Independence Day weekend will put him over the line, against the fighting pride of San Antonio. He will be a considerable underdog, as the mix of movement, punch placement, power and in-ring cool and concentration/focus makes Bam a hard out for even the upper echelon in that weight region.
“September 17, we are back,” said Bam Rodriguez in a Matchroom release. “It’s an honor to be a part of this card and I want to thank Matchroom and Teiken for giving me this opportunity. Having the chance to fight on Mexican Independence Day weekend, as the co-main to Canelo-GGG is truly special and I plan on putting on another spectacular performance and continuing to build my legacy. Each fight now is more important than the last. It’s not about just winning; it’s how you win. That’s mine and my coach Robert Garcia’s job now; to look sensational each and every time we step in the ring and continue to show the world that I am one of the best pound-for-pound fighters on the planet.”
“I am delighted to make Bam Rodriguez the first fighter on the undercard of a spectacular night on September 17,” said promoter Eddie Hearn, engaging in some forgivable hyperbole. “Jesse is the hottest property in the sport right now after his electric performances in the first half of 2022, and he’s looking to build on that on the biggest possible platform. Israel is sure to give it everything he has got on Mexican Independence Day weekend, but I believe you are going to see another special performance from a seriously talented young fighter in Jesse.”
After Bam Rodriguez stopped Srisaket, promoter Hearn bubbled with enthusiasm: “San Antonio has a superstar on their hands. Fighters like this come around once in a generation. You are talking about some of the great fighters in Chocolatito, Juan Francisco Estrada – but can you say that Jesse wouldn’t beat them? San Antonio should be very proud of this kid. A special talent and it’s all down to the speed that Robert and the team want to go. I think he can unify at any division from 108lbs to 115lbs and he’s got all the tools to become a legend of the sport. He’s a baby, he’s still learning, it was a great turnout tonight and we’re going to get bigger and bigger.”
My 3 Cents: Bam Rodriguez is a refreshing story in the sport, both for his skill set, but also his attitude. He runs towards challenges, instead of acting like a prototype boxer/businessman, always with 1.5 eyes on the purse.