NEW YORK–Promoter Eddie Hearn does not see the point for Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez to drop back down to the 112-pound division.
The 22-year-old Rodriguez defended his WBC 115-pound belt last Saturday night in his hometown of San Antonio in mesmerizing fashion, defeating dangerous veteran Srisaket Sor Rungvisai by eighth-round stoppage.
Rodriguez won his 115-pound belt in February against Carlos Cuadras as a late replacement for Sor Rungvisai, who had to pull out of the vacant title bout because of an illness. Rodriguez had to move up from the 112-pound division to challenge Cuadras.
Rodriguez’s handlers, namely head trainer Robert Garcia, pointed out before and after the win of Sor Rungvisai that he wants his charge to move back down to 112 rather than continuing to defend and unify at 115.
Hearn, the head of Matchroom Boxing, which just signed Rodriguez to an extension, said he disagreed with Garcia’s assessment.
Hearn believes Rodriguez’s masterful performance over Sor Rungvisai is a sign that he is more than physically capable of taking on other top titleholders and challengers at the junior bantamweight limit. The division boasts WBC franchise champion Juan Francisco Estrada and Nicaraguan great Roman Gonzalez.
“I think no,” Hearn told BoxingScene.com when asked about Rodriguez dropping down to 112. “Because if you have a belt at 115, like he has, then unless you get a belt at 112, why?
“He’s molded into that weight. He just stopped one of the most fearsome 115-pounders in the division. It’s not like he’s not big enough, it’s not like he doesn’t punch hard enough. But we’ll see.”
Hearn, however, understands that the idea of winning a belt at 112 would be an intriguing possibility for Rodriguez, since one objective for the young fighter is to win titles across several divisions.
“I would like to see him become a multi-weight champion,” Hearn said. “And that was always the aim. He was going to win a world title at 108 and then go to 112, and then 115. We’ll have to see, but Robert Garcia would like for him to become a multi-weight world champion.”