A title unification with Sunny Edwards is atop the very short list of desired fights once Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez is cleared to return to the ring.
The unbeaten two-division and reigning WBO flyweight titlist is back in the gym as he hopes to be able to resume full contact in time to begin preparation for an eventual showdown with his divisional rival. Edwards had Rodriguez on his mind after the Brit turned away previously unbeaten Chilean challenger Andres Campos (15-1, 4KOs) this past Saturday at OVO Arena in Wembley. His simple demand for Rodriguez to ‘sign the contract’ did not go unchecked.
“Let’s go,” Rodriguez immediately replied via social media.
Edwards (20-0, 4KOs) lodged the fourth defense of the IBF flyweight title with his latest win, which served as his Matchroom Boxing debut. Matchroom also has promotional ties to San Antonio’s Rodriguez (18-0, 11KOs) and Mexico City’s WBC titleholder Julio Cesar Martinez. WBA titlist Artem Dalakian (22-0, 15KOs) is with Union Boxing Promotions but interested in joining a potential flyweight tournament.
Matchroom head Eddie Hearn was keen on getting together all the flyweight titlists from the moment Rodriguez (18-0, 11KOs) decided to drop down from junior bantamweight, where he previously held the WBC title. Rodriguez claimed the WBO flyweight bout on April 8 with a win over Mexico’s Cristian Gonzalez in his San Antonio hometown.
The feat to become a two-division titlist came at a cost. Rodriguez suffered a fractured jaw midway through their twelve-round fight and has remained on the mend though at least back in the gym. His downtime has been met with plenty of commentary from Edwards, one of the sport’s pure best boxers and who insists that he’s the only flyweight titleholder truly willing to face his divisional peers.
Rodriguez only just arrived at the weight and awaits full medical clearance before he can schedule his next fight. He has every intention of making sure it’s versus his most outspoken rival, if only to disprove the Brit’s criticism.
“I know Sunny has been talking a lot but that means nothing to me,” stated Rodriguez. “Let’s see if he can actually back it up when that bell rings. I know what I’m capable of and I know I have what it takes to beat him. The best of me hasn’t been seen yet.
“See you soon, Sunny.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox