Home Boxing News Bam Rodriguez: “The Ring Magazine belt means a lot to me and...

Bam Rodriguez: “The Ring Magazine belt means a lot to me and I can’t wait to hold it”

Juan Francisco Estrada and Jesse 'Bam' Rodriguez

Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez 19-0 (12) says his challenge to Ring Magazine and WBC super flyweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada 44-3 (28) at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona this Saturday night isn’t personal.

And yet it is.

“This is a very important fight for me,” said Rodriguez. “When I had that WBC belt before, he said a few things discrediting my wins against [Carlos] Cuadras and [Srisaket Sor] Rungvisai, so that on top of fighting for his world title makes it as big as can be.

“I just know I’m going to have my hand raised, by KO or on points.

“I wouldn’t call it personal to the point where I am mad about what he said, but he I do want to prove him wrong and show him that I am the truth, the real deal, and on Saturday, he’s going to see.

“Growing up I was still an amateur watching his fights against [Roman] Chocolatito [Gonzalez], Rungvisai and Cuadras, so to share the ring with him is an honour, but that all goes out of the window on Saturday.

“He’s trying to take my ‘0’ and I’m not going to let that happen.”

At just 24, the San Antonio, Texas native is one of the hottest young properties in boxing. Fight fans had better enjoy him while he is here.

“I’m here for a good time and not a long time,” Rodriguez said. “I don’t want to be fighting for a long time, so I want to get big fights and give entertaining fights to the fans, just be pure entertainment.

“Seeing all the fighters that have become undisputed in the last few years, holding all the belts in the ring, it’s very motivating to me. To be undisputed at 115-pounds would be a great accomplishment.

“I think that there is a rematch clause after this fight so I would rematch Estrada, but then say I win, I want to go for the other belts.

“The Ring Magazine is a very popular belt and not every fighter has the chance to fight for it. It means a lot to me and I can’t wait to hold it.”

Mexican Estrada has been a mainstay of the lighter weight classes since turning pro 16 years ago and winning his first world title in 2013. The 34-year-old has boxed infrequently in recent years, but he says he still has it in him to compete at the highest level.

“I’ve been in the gym the whole time,” Estrada said. “It’s not like I haven’t continued to work.

“We thought maybe we’d fight [WBA super flyweight champion] Kazuto Ioka, but we’ve really wanted to fight Bam. The opportunity was there. Bam has been the one I’ve wanted to fight for awhile.”