Pick It: #2 Srisaket Sor Rungvisai vs. #9 Jesse Rodriguez (Saturday, DAZN, 8:00 PM EST)
This is the card of the week and, even with the late loss of Julio Cesar Martinez-McWilliams Arroyo II, one of the best cards of the year so far in 2022. In the main event, 22-year old Jesse Rodriguez (15-0, 10 KO) defends a WBC belt against former lineal Jr. bantamweight king Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (50-5-1, 43 KO).
Sor Rungvisai might be 35 now, but his only loss in recent vintage came to Juan Francisco Estrada. It’s a bold choice for the young Rodriguez. Also on the card, 27-year old unified Jr. featherweight titlist Murodjon Akhmadaliev (10-0, 7 KO) defends against veteran 32-year old Ronny Rios (33-3, 16 KO). 37-year old undisputed welterweight queen Jessica McCaskill (11-2, 4 KO) will also defend against 34-year old Alma Ibarra (10-1, 5 KO).
Additional Shows to Watch For
Friday - #3 Gonzalez vs. Barriga (ProBoxTV, 7:30 PM EST)
A new streaming service brings action at Jr. flyweight in the main event. 31-year old Jonathan Gonzalez (25-3-1, 14 KO) won the WBO belt in his last outing with a nice decision over Elwin Soto. Now Gonzalez takes the role of defending titlist. 29-year old Mark Barriga (11-1, 2 KO) enters off consecutive wins after a lone decision defeat.
Friday - Blanc vs. Barreras (Estrella, 9:00 PM EST)
More Jr. flyweight action will fill up your Friday night in this main event. 29-year old Leandro Jose Blanc (5-0, 3 KO), a 2016 Olympian from Argentina, is being moved quickly as a professional. He will face 23-year old German Valenzuela (17-3, 12 KO) with eyes on a title shot sooner than later.
Saturday - #5 Soto vs. Budler (ESPN+, 9:00 PM EST)
Yet another Jr. flyweight main event pits a pair of former titlists against each other in what could be one of the weekend’s most fun encounters. 25-year old Elwin Soto (19-2, 13 KO) enters off his narrow split decision loss to Jonathan Gonzalez with a chance to get right back in contention. 34-year old former strawweight and Jr. flyweight titlist, unified in the latter, Hekkie Budler (33-4, 10 KO) is 2-2 in his last four with a stoppage loss to Hiroto Kyoguchi. This could be a last stand, or the start of one more run at gold.
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, a member of the International Boxing Research Organization, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at email@example.com