Jesse Rodriguez spars ‘Chocolatito’, primed for Juan Francisco Estrada fight

Jesse 'Bam' Rodriguez challenges Juan Francisco Estrada for WBC 115-pound title live on DAZN

Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez takes on Juan Francisco Estrada on Saturday, June 29 at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona. The undefeated two-division world champion of San Antonio, Texas looks to dethrone Mexico’s two-weight champion and regain the WBC super flyweight title.

Ahead of the event, Rodriguez held a media workout in LA, previewed his upcoming bout and shared insight on his training camp. The 24-year-old southpaw revealed that he had sparred with Estrada’s old rival, Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez and gained more confidence.

“‘Chocolatito’ fought Estrada three times so he’s very familiar with his style, he knows what he does right and wrong,” Jesse Rodriguez said. “To share the ring with him was a huge opportunity. We got eight solid rounds in, and each one was fireworks, so my confidence is even higher going into the fight knowing I’ve shared the ring with ‘Chocolatito’.”

“‘Chocolatito’ is a legend, not just of the lower weight classes but just in boxing period, he was on the pound-for-pound list for a very long time. So, to share the ring with him was an honor, and it doesn’t get any better than that.”

Rodriguez is coming off the win via ninth-round RTD against Sunny Edwards last December, when he retained his WBO flyweight title and claimed the IBF belt. Last April, he earned the vacant WBO 112 lbs crown by unanimous decision against Cristian Gonzalez Hernandez to become a two-division world champion.

In February 2022, Rodriguez earned a UD against Carlos Cuadras and secured the vacant WBC super flyweight strap. The San Antonio native has then successfully defended that belt twice against against Wisaksil Wangek and Israel Gonzalez.

“This isn’t the first fight that I’m being doubted, or people are saying I can’t win. So, it’s just another fight, every day is another day in the gym, and then on June 29 I will show everyone once again that I am the real deal.”

Jesse Rodriguez: The pressure is on me as the one coming up

“It’s not about him, it’s about what I have inside me and the style I have,” Rodriguez continued. “I know what I am capable of, so I go into the fight knowing that I feel that no-one can beat me. I just know I am ready, whether he was young and active or not, I know I can beat any version of Estrada.”

“I’ve been taking tough fights for my last four, five, six fights now, I’ve lost count of them. I’ve been in world title fights since 2022, and I feel like winning this fight in a dominant fashion or even stopping Estrada, it will make people believe. But if it doesn’t, that’s OK, I know what I am accomplishing in the sport and that’s what matters.”

34-year-old Juan Francisco Estrada (44-3, 28 KOs) make the first defense of his WBC super flyweight title. The Puerto Penasco, Sonora native landed the vacant title by majority decision in the trilogy fight against Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez in December 2022.

“The pressure is on me as the one coming up,” Rodriguez said. “Estrada has been around, and people know what he’s done, so it’s up to me to show the world that I am one of the greats in the lower weight classes and the world of boxing as well.”

“I’m more motivated than ever and very confident going into this fight, so you can expect the best of me on June 29.”

In the co-feature on the card, British junior bantamweight Sunny Edwards (20-1, 4 KOs) meets fellow former world champion Adrian Curiel (24-5-1, 5 KOs) of Mexico. Among other bouts, Yamileth Mercado (23-3, 5 KOs) of Mexico defends her WBC super bantamweight title against Somalia-born Ramla Ali (9-1, 2 KOs) of the UK. Plus, Mexico’s Arturo Cardenas (13-0-1, 8 KOs) and Phoenix-based Danny Barrios (15-0, 5 KOs) of Des Moines, Iowa battle it out for the WBC Continental Americas super bantamweight title.

Parviz Iskenderov
Parviz Iskenderov is a former Muay Thai fighter, sports manager and editor at FIGHTMAG.

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