GLENDALE, Arizona – Another big fight is headed to the greater Phoenix area.
BoxingScene.com has learned that the Sunny Edwards-Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez flyweight unification bout will headline a December 16 DAZN show from the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona. The venue has heavily invested into boxing in recent years and will host perhaps the final big fight of what has been a blockbuster year for the sport.
The development confirms a previous breaking news scoop revealed by International Boxing News.
England’s Edwards (20-0, 4KOs) will put his IBF flyweight title at stake, while San Antonio’s Rodriguez risks the WBO title he claimed in his most recent bout earlier this year.
Both sides agreed to terms in late spring, a fight motivated by Rodriguez’s decision to drop down to flyweight and Edwards signing with Matchroom Boxing after previously calling out every reigning titlist.
The bout will mark the U.S. debut for Edwards, who will attempt the fifth defense of the IBF title he has held since a dominant April 2021 victory over long-reigning titlist Moruti Mthalane. In his most recent outing, the outspoken Brit outpointed unbeaten contender Andres Campos over twelve rounds on June 10 at OVO Arena Wembley in London.
Edwards signed with Matchroom weeks earlier, with the intention of fully unifying the flyweight division.
Rodriguez (18-0, 11KOs) moved up to flyweight similarly with the sole purpose of fully unifying the division. He vacated the WBC junior bantamweight title to pursue that dream and took the first step with a twelve-round win over Cristian Gonzalez in their April 8 vacant WBO flyweight title fight in his San Antonio hometown.
The DAZN headliner was intended to serve as a starting point for Hearn’s unofficial but fully committed flyweight tournament between all the reigning titlists. A slight delay came when Rodriguez fractured his jaw midway through his win over Gonzalez but has fully recovered and will now return to the region where he claimed his first major title.
Rodriguez defeated Mexico City’s Carlos Cuadras to win the vacant WBC junior bantamweight title last February 5 at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona. He was previously due to appear on the show in a flyweight bout before he took the bout on six days’ notice. Rodriguez stepped up to replace an ailing Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, the former lineal and two-time WBC 115-pound champ whom Rodriguez stopped in the eighth round of a San Antonio homecoming headliner last June 24.
The second and final title defense came in a twelve-round win over former title challenger Israel Gonzalez last September 17 on the undercard of the Canelo Alvarez-Gennadiy Golovkin trilogy match at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Rodriguez then vacated the belt to instead campaign at flyweight.
Matchroom previously visited the Desert Diamond Arena for the Juan Francisco ‘El Gallo’ Estrada-Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez rubber match last December 3, won by Estrada via majority decision.
The venue also hosts this weekend’s WBO junior lightweight title fight between three-division and defending champ Emanuel Navarrete (37-1, 31KOs) and former two-division titlist Oscar Valdez (31-1, 23KOs).
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox