Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez told anybody who would listen that he was going to break down Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and eventually stop him in the later rounds.
It didn’t take long into their WBC junior bantamweight title fight for the unbeaten 22-year-old to sense that he was quickly on the right track. Rodriguez hurt Sor Rungvisai early, dropping the former two-time champ in round seven and forcing the stoppage in the eighth round of their DAZN headliner Saturday evening from Tech Port Arena in his San Antonio hometown.
“After the third round, I felt like I was breaking him down a bit,” Rodriguez noted . “I could feel it by then, I knew his power wasn’t the same, not like it was in the first two rounds.”
The fight was the second in a row at junior bantamweight for Rodriguez (16-0, 11KOs), who just two fights ago was competing at junior flyweight and vying for a title at that weight, His life changed a week before his previous encounter, when he was offered a last-minute opportunity to face former titlist Carlos Cuadras, replacing an ill Sor Rungvisai (50-6-1, 43KOs) ahead of their February 5 DAZN main event in Phoenix, Arizona.
Rodriguez dropped Cuadras in round nine en route to a twelve-round, unanimous decision win. It was a different game plan against Sor Rungvisai, offering more angles to keep the Thai southpaw off rhythm and dominating the former champ in ways that nobody else has previously dealt with him.
“We know what I’m capable of and that’s why we took the fight in the first place,” noted Rodriguez, of the decision both to stay and turn in the tour-de-force performance that came from his homecoming win. “We know what I brought to the table and tonight showed that.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox