By Dan Ambrose: Former WBC super flyweight champion Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez will fight No. 1 Cristian Gonzalez for the WBO 112-lb title.
Earlier today, the International Boxing Federation approved Bam Rodriguez (17-0, 11 KOs) to fight. Cristian Gonzalez is a man on the moon (15-1, 5 KOs) for the vacant WBO flyweight title. Cristian has poor development, making it difficult to know how good he is.
Junto Nakatani vacated the WBO 112lb belt, moving up to 115 to campaign as a heavyweight.
Bam Rodriguez vacated his WBC 115-lb title on Wednesday, opting to drop the belt to move up to the 112-lb division with the goal of becoming a two-division world champion.
Some boxing fans believe that the reason 22-year-old Bam Rodriguez vacated his WBC title was to avoid a fight with #1 contender Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez.
As good as Bam is, Chocolatito’s strength has not been shown, and he would be well placed to take on the talented former four-division world champion from Nicaragua.
BIG move from @210 not! 👊
In the hunt for the belt at 112lbs… 🎯 pic.twitter.com/mEh2LpM182
– Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) October 27, 2022
The move to 112 is a good decision for Rodriguez because the division is very weak, and the champions are all beatable. In short, neither Chocolatito nor Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue and Bam Rodriguez will need to worry.
- Sunny Edwards – IBF
- Julio Cesar Martinez – WBC
- Artem Dalakian
It is believed that Bam Rodriguez will be on weight for a long time to become the champion in this weight category. Whether that will be possible by the end of 2023 is not known.
You can bet Bam Rodriguez’s promoters will be paying big bucks to attract the three champions at 112 to fight him, assuming he can beat Cristian Gonzalez to capture the next WBO 112-lb title.
In 2022, Jesse defeated the following famous fighters: Carlos Cuadras, Srisaket Sor Rungvisi, and Israel Gonzalez. Bam Rodriguez’s victory over Israel Gonzalez was a narrow victory that he barely got.
Interestingly, two of the judges scored clearly for the A-side fighter Bam, but in reality, it was very close. Rodriguez’s performance shows that he is not in the same galaxy as Chocolatito or even Juan Francisco Estrada. So, Bam Rodriguez moves to 112 to navigate in safer waters instead of interacting with these sharks and being eaten.