By Dan Ambrose: In a surprise move, Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez relinquished his WBC super flyweight title on Wednesday, opting to move down to the 112-lb level in a bid to become a two-division world champion at the age of 22.
He has a move that could save Rodriguez (17-0, 11 KOs) from getting beat up Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez because he is his #1 contender with the WBC, and he wants his belt.
The reason why 22-year-old Bam Rodriguez vacated his WBC 115-lb title is because he wants to move up to the heavyweight division to attack the champions. Julio Cesar Martinez for his WBC belt and IBF champion Sunny Edwards.
Those fights were more successful for Bam Rodriguez than defenses against former four-division world champion Chocolatito Gonzalez or Juan Francisco Estrada.
Loyal Bam boxing fans will point out that he recently stopped the former two-time WBC champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisi In the eighth round last June he also beat Chocolatito twice in 2017.
The difference is that Rungvisai was 30 years old and at the beginning of his career when he beat Chocolatito twice. He is a different Rungvisi than the 35-year-old version that Bam Rodriguez beat. Rungvisi has aged a lot in the last five years and is not the same fighter that fought Chocolatito.
“Our undefeated champion has officially informed the WBC in the super flyweight division Jesse Rodríguez about his decision to leave the Green and Gold Belt, to move down and compete in the heavyweight division,” a according to the WBC.
Jessie had a good year in 2022, beating Carlos Cuadras to win the WBC super flyweight title outright and defeating Rungvisi and Israel Gonzalez.
Bam Rodriguez’s victory over Israel Gonzalez last September was a little close to comfort, because it was close to a razor’s edge. Two of the judges scored against Bam, winning 118-109 and 117-110.
However, the third judge had the best score of the three, scoring it 114-113. Here’s how close the fight was.
What this fight shows is that Bam has not reached the level that some boxing fans think, and if he doesn’t give up his WBC title, Chocolatito will definitely beat him.
The weight reduction to 112 will allow Bam Rodriguez to pick up one or two lightweight belts over Julio Cesar Martinez and Sunny Edwards.