This was the type of fight that drove Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez down in weight.
The two-division and reigning WBO flyweight titlist accepted as risky a challenge for his first defense. San Antonio’s Rodriguez is set for a terrific unification bout versus IBF champ Sunny Edwards on December 16 at Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona. The media tour began on September 21 in Orlando and has carried over into the U.K.
“This is the biggest fight of my career,” Rodriguez said of the matchup. “I’m so excited to fight Sunny Edwards. I’ve seen a lot of talk about the fight before it was even signed. I know a lot of people are going to be tuned in.”
Rodriguez (18-0, 11KOs) claimed the WBO 112-pound belt in an April 8 points win over Mexico’s Cristian Gonzalez in his San Antonio hometown. The 23-year-old became a two-division titleholder that evening.
A win over former titlist Carlos Cuadras saw Rodriguez win the WBC junior bantamweight title last February 5 in Phoenix, Arizona. Rodriguez defended against former lineal champ Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in an eighth-round knockout last June 24 in his hometown. The win was followed by a twelve-round decision over Israel Gonzalez last September 17 in Las Vegas.
The buzz behind this fight has already exceeded any other main event which featured Rodriguez. The return to the region where he won his first title carries added incentive for the highly skilled boxer to rise to the occasion.
"I know a lot of my people from San Antonio are going to make the trip,” insisted Rodriguez. “This is going to feel like just another hometown fight. This is the best versus the best.”
Edwards (20-0, 4KOs) will attempt the sixth defense of the IBF belt he’s held since late April 2021.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox