Juan Francisco Estrada understands he is the betting underdog ahead of next week’s hugely anticipated fight with Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez, but in no way has that dented the veteran’s confidence.

Estrada, the future Hall of Famer nicknamed “El Gallo,” is 44-3 (28 KOs) and defending his WBC junior bantamweight title inside Phoenix’s Footprint Center on June 29.

“Even the betting odds favor Bam Rodriguez – everybody is saying that I’m about to retire,” said Mexico’s Estrada. “But I actually consider that, at my age – 34 years of age – I have four more years left in my career. So the truth is, I think that a lot of people are wrong, and this 29th I’m going to prove it.

“But I think Bam is coming with everything. He is 10 years younger than me, he’s hungry, he wants to be world champion in this division, and I want to continue making history. I could say that I’ve been writing my legacy, but as I said, I have four or five years more.” 

Estrada has fought with fellow great Roman Gonzalez three times, and the Nicaraguan has been sparring Rodriguez ahead of next weekend’s fight.

Rodriguez, trained by Robert Garcia and 19-0 (12 KOs), last boxed handing Sunny Edwards the lone loss of his career to unify the IBF and WBO titles at flyweight.

“I was there at that fight, and he looked great, spectacular,” Estrada admitted on Matchroom’s “Make the Days Count” build-up show. “He knocked out Edwards very good, but then again, Edwards is a flyweight. But it’s a different story in super flyweight.”

Estrada has not boxed since his trilogy contest with Gonzalez at the end of 2022 but believes experience and strength could be the difference. 

“I consider myself to be a very complete boxer. I can go out, I can pressure, I can brawl. I don’t think Bam is going to have it easy,” Estrada said.

“I think Bam Rodriguez has to be willing to die, because I’m willing to give it all up in the ring. And this is one fight I’m not going to let go.”

Rodriguez, who said he is happy to be sharing the ring with a legend, insists the fight will deliver on its billing as one of the best that can be made in the sport.

“It’s going to live up to it,” said the challenger. “When our styles collide, it’s going to make for fireworks, and whoever is tuned in is going to see something special. People are going to see the best Bam Rodriguez to date.

“I’m ready for anything come June 29th.”