In a surprising one-sided destruction, Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez of San Antonio, Texas (19-0, 12 KOs) broke down Sunny Edwards of London (20-1, 4 KOs), forcing Edwards' corner to stop the WBO/IBF World Flyweight title unification fight to give Rodriguez the win. The official time of the stoppage was one second of the tenth round.
“Sunny’s a hell of a fighter,” said the 23-year-old Rodriguez. “He was 20-0 for a reason. He’s not used to getting hit that much, but I brought out something tonight he couldn’t handle.”
“I worked my ass off for this. I knew it was coming, it was only a matter of time,” added Rodriguez. “He’s quick, a lot quicker than I thought, a lot smarter than I thought. But you saw what happened.”
Rodriguez Stops Edwards With Impressive Ease
An even fight through the first four rounds saw Rodriguez pull away as the fight progressed. Rodriguez targeted Edwards’ body, slowing him down in the later rounds.
Edwards enjoyed success when he switched to a southpaw stance but was broken down with accurate power shots. While Edwards landed power punches of his own, even his clean power shots seemed to have no effect on Rodriguez. Rodriguez showed no lasting effects from breaking his jaw in a September 2022 fight.
The tension during the fight buildup showed in the ring on Saturday at the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona. A flush left hand dropped Edwards face-first at the conclusion of the ninth round. Rodriguez mocked Edwards as he beat the count and returned to his corner. Seconds later, trainer Grant Smith called an end to the fight, believing Edwards had taken too much damage.
“I was getting outworked a little bit there,” Edwards said. “After the tenth round, I couldn’t see out of both of my eyes, my corner made the decision to pull me. It was probably the right one.”
Rodriguez was up on all three scorecards at the time of the stoppage: 89-81 and 87-83 twice.
Impressive Numbers for Bam Rodriguez
According to CompuBox, Rodriguez landed 238 of 533 punches (44.7 percent), while Edwards landed 138 of 504 punches (27.4 percent). Rodriguez had a 180-75 advantage in power shots, landing an astounding 62 percent. Rodriguez targeted the body, landing 61 body shots to 28 landed body punches for Edwards.
Edwards ended the fight with a damaged left eye and several cuts. “From about the second round, I couldn’t really see out of my left eye,” said Edwards. “It made it very hard to get away from his lead hand. Jesse’s a hell of a fighter. I knew that before taking the fight.”
After talking so much trash, Edwards was all class after the fight. “I think it was a great fight, but the better man won today. No excuses, no regrets. Grateful to be part of such an event. Shoutout to the American fight fans in Glendale, Arizona. Yeah, it wasn’t my night tonight. I’ll definitely be back for sure.”
In turn, the new unified champion Rodriguez was equally gracious.
“Hell of a fighter and a hell of a champion,” he said of Edwards. “There was a lot of trash talk in the buildup, but it’s all part of the sport. I’ve got nothing for love for this guy.”
Will We See Bam vs. El Gallo?
Rodriguez plans on returning to the super flyweight division at 115 pounds. He expressed interest in fighting two-division and current WBC World Super Flyweight Juan Francisco Estrada of Mexico in 2024. Estrada holds the title Rodriguez vacated when he moved back to the flyweight division.
“I wanted that fight even when I was at 115,” Rodriguez said. “I was calling him out already. So why not have it happen now?”
Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn said Rodriguez has options. “There’s lots of things he can do. He can become undisputed at 112. If he wants to move to 115, of course.
“That was one of the best performances I’ve ever seen,” Hearn said of Rodriguez. “He’s a special fighter, a pound-for-pound great.”
Rodriguez hopes this victory will propel him into the P4P top ten.“I definitely belong, “Rodriguez said. “I give a lot of respect to the top ten. Beating Sunny Edwards, I belong in the top ten.”
It was a great night for trainer Robert Garcia. Garcia's fighters went 3-0 on the night, with all three wins knockouts.