Should Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez Be Included On The Pound For Pound List?
The boxing docket was completely booked on December 16th, but the fight of the night took place at the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona, as Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez became the unified flyweight champion by defeating British boxer Sunny “Showtime” Edwards (20-1, 4 KOs) by way of ninth round stoppage.
The Rodriguez vs Edwards clash had all the ingredients required to create a fantastic night of boxing. It had undefeated vs. undefeated and champion vs. champion as Sunny Edwards came into the bout as the IBF world champion, and Bam Rodriguez entered the contest as the WBO world champion.
In addition to the unblemished records and the world title belts, this bout featured two highly skilled boxers who were both daring to be great. In the end, Rodriguez had a very impressive performance, and it raises the question should Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez be included on the pound-for-pound list?
A product of San Antonio, Texas, Jesse Rodriguez started his pro career back in March 2017 when he defeated Mauricio Cruz via unanimous decision. Five years later, Rodriguez became a world champion when he defeated Carlos Cuadros and won the vacant WBC super-flyweight title.
After making two successful title defenses, Rodriguez vacated his title in order to move down and compete as a flyweight. In his first fight in his new weight class, Bam Rodriguez defeated Cristian Gonzalez via unanimous decision and won the vacant WBO flyweight title.
Thousands of miles away in the United Kingdom, the IBF belt holder Sunny “Showtime” Edwards pleaded with his promoter Eddie Hearn in regards to getting him a unification bout against Bam Rodriguez. Edwards pressed to get the bout, and like the old adage states, be careful what you wish for.
In the opening round of the unification bout, Bam Rodriguez was constantly pressing forward and throwing the jab to his opponent’s body. Bam changed levels in the second round as he started landing his southpaw jab up top to the head of his opposition. The jab was extremely effective as it caused immediate swelling under the left eye of Edwards.
During the course of the next two rounds, Bam Rodriguez continued to press forward and apply intelligent pressure. Rodriguez had to be cautious due to the fact that Sunny Edwards was having success landing the check hook.
Rodriguez was able to close the distance in the 5th round as he got inside and landed some solid combinations. The sixth round featured back-and-forth action as Edwards landed shots up top, and Rodriguez did most of his work to the body.
At the midway point of the eighth round, Rodriguez began to walk Edwards down while landing sharp combinations. In the final seconds of the ninth round, Rodriguez landed a hard left-hand shot that caused Edwards to fall down face-first.
Edwards was able to get up and walk to his corner, but his corner men decided to wave the fight off. With the victory, the 23-year-old Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez (19-0, 12 KOs) became a unified world champion.
Bam Rodriguez is a young talented two-division titlist, and with his resume, the question is does Rodriguez deserve to be on the pound-for-pound list?
If you don’t believe Rodriguez deserves to be on the list now, he plans on adding to his portfolio in 2024 when he goes back to super-flyweight to hopefully challenge Juan Francisco Estrada for the WBC title.