Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez offered a taste in his last outing of what he’s capable of doing versus upper echelon competition on short notice.
Boxing’s youngest champion is now eager to show the world what he can do against an elite boxer while armed with a full training camp designed for this very moment. It comes in the form of a homecoming title defense, as Rodriguez puts his WBC junior bantamweight title on the line versus former two-time WBC champ and pound-for-pound entrant Srisaket Sor Rungvisai this Saturday at Tech Port Arena in San Antonio, Texas.
“It’s going to be a tough fight for as long as it lasts,” Rodriguez acknowledged to BoxingScene.com of the DAZN headliner (Saturday, 8:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. local time). “He’s a great fighter, a former (two-time) world champion. My team has been working on a great game plan and we’re gonna execute it.
“You know what? I wouldn’t be surprised if I stop him in the later rounds.”
It’s a bold statement from the unbeaten 22-year-old, who claimed the WBC title in a twelve-round decision win over former champ Carlos Cuadras less than five months ago.
Rodriguez (15-0, 10KOs) was training for a regional flyweight title fight when the need arose to fill a vacancy in the main event. Sor Rungvisai suffered from a kidney ailment that prevented him from facing Cuadras nearly eight years after the Mexican ended his first title reign. Rodriguez stepped in on six days’ notice, dropping Cuadras in the ninth round en route to a twelve-round, unanimous decision win.
The past several months have been spent mentally and physically preparing for Sor Rungvisai, a still dangerous Thai southpaw long viewed as among the best of a loaded junior bantamweight division. Rodriguez is eager to carve out his own name and a new era in the lower weight divisions, believing a statement-making win over Sor Rungvisai will help set the table for years of greatness.
“I believe Rungvisai is the toughest test I could have taken,” insists Rodriguez. “I’m not here to be an average fighter. I want to be a special fighter. These kinds of fights produce special fights. That’s why I took it. He was the fighter I replaced to fight for and win the title, so why not do this against him.”