Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez, boxing’s youngest star

To say that the rise of Jesse “Bam” Rodríguez has been meteoric would understate the commonplace. After defeating respected veterans such as Carlo

To say that the rise of Jesse “Bam” Rodríguez has been meteoric would understate the commonplace. After defeating respected veterans such as Carlos Cuadras and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, the name of the young champion is on everyone’s lips and not for nothing has he been assigned a special place in one of the most important evenings of 2022.

Rodríguez (16-0, 11 KO) will have this Saturday, September 17 (DAZN PPV and PPV.com, 8 pm ET) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas his third defense of the 115-pound belt in the co-main event of the Canelo Álvarez-Gennadiy Golovkin 3 evening that has aroused so much interest in the fans.

“I had fought with Rungvisai on a Saturday night and the next Wednesday they told me about this fight,” Rodríguez revealed. “I had not realized that they wanted me to co-star for this event. It took me a few days to accept the fight. I talked to my trainer Robert Garcia and he told me to take it. I was coming back from a long camp, but what Robert told me made sense and now I’m glad I had that conversation.”

Against all odds, the 22-year-old Rodriguez became boxing’s youngest active champion by winning the vacant World Council belt on February 5 by a clear decision against former titleholder Carlos Cuadras, whom he beat by knockout in the third round, after gaining weight and substituting six days in advance for a Rungvisai who was unable to attend the appointment due to illness.

No one imagined that shortly after, on June 25, Rodríguez would also defeat the legendary -and double winner of Román “Chocolatito” González- Rungvisai, whom he knocked down in the seventh round before knocking him out in the eighth, definitely calling the attention of the world. of boxing.

“This year has been one of many changes for me, not only in boxing, but outside as well,” said Rodríguez, who is a student of renowned trainer Robert García. “I am where I should be and I have fought a lot for this. I feel blessed to be where I am.”

But his fight this September 17 does not come without risk, because González not only brings his experience but also the fact that he has fallen in three previous attempts to become world champion and knows that this is most likely his last chance to be crowned.

The Mexican González (28-4-1, 11 KO), 25, was stopped in the tenth round by the Filipino Jerwin Ancajas in 2018, fell by majority decision against the English Kal Yafai more in that same year and lost by unanimous decision against “Chocolatito” in 2020.

Despite his quick and early success, Rodríguez affirms that he has his feet firmly on the ground and that he has the family and work environment that keeps him in the best physical and mental disposition so as not to lose focus on what he most desires in life. boxing: greatness.

“Since I was very young, I have had the influence of my parents, who to this day continue to tell me to keep my head on straight and remind me of who I have been from the first moment,” stressed Mexican-American Rodríguez, born in San Antonio, Texas, and whose brother was the biggest motivation to get into boxing. “I follow his instructions, his advice and that works very well for me. People appreciate a humble champion.”