Texas

Rodriguez reached star status in defending the title

SAN ANTONIO “Fighting night turned out to be something special.”

More than 2,500 boxing fans filled the newly opened Tech Port Center and Arena to witness what could be the defining moment in Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez’s young career. The 22-year-old Rodriguez, who is the youngest current world boxing champion, dominated from start to finish in the main event of Saturday night’s DAZN show.

Rodriguez (16-0, 11 KO) defeated Srisaket Sor Rungvisay (50-6-1, 43 KO) of Thailand to remain the WBC world champion in the super flyweight category.

“To do this in front of a home crowd can’t get any better than that,” Rodriguez told KSAT 12 Sports after the match. “It was amazing. I’ve never had that kind of support in any battle. Getting that support from my own crowd means it all to me, because every time I step into that ring, I represent San Antonio to the fullest. . “

Bam never seemed out of sync with the opening bell. Rodriguez landed clean, open shots from the first round. Rungvisai seemed to be slow to catch up with his opponent’s speed and accuracy. When Rodriguez didn’t take clean shots, he switched to combined shots. Bam then turned to using his corners to protect Rungvisai from any kind of offensive attack.

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Whatever Rungvisay did, Bam was ready to respond in its first title defense to fans in their hometown.

Just 40 seconds into the seventh round, Rodriguez struck a clean land with a left-handed shot that sent Rungvisai briefly onto the sail. It was enough to win the knockdown and by the eighth round Rodriguez let his hands fly, as a result of which the referee intervened to stop the fight and won the “Bam” victory by technical knockout.

“To finally prove myself to the people, to the media, to everyone who doubted me, I feel incredible,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez explained that although he inflicted most of the blows and pain in the main event, Rungvisai did not give up as the match progressed.

“I had a feeling he was fading, his strength was waning in the third round and he was about to leave,” Rodriguez said. “I picked him up. I knew he was hurt. I was hoping they would stop him because he was hitting hard and I knew I had to get rid of this man.

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BROTHER’S CHAMPIONSHIP

Rodriguez is the younger brother of WBA super flyweight world champion Joshua Franco. The San Antonio brothers are currently world champions in the same category. Rodriguez’s successful title defense on Saturday came as no surprise to big brother Franco.

“It was an amazing feeling, I knew my brother would make a statement and knock him out, and that’s exactly what he did,” Franco explained. “I was not surprised at all. I know what my brother has, his work ethic in the gym, I know his talent, I know his skills – that didn’t surprise me. “

According to coach Robert Garcia, Franco’s next fight will take place next September, although the official announcement has not yet been made. The September match will be Franco’s first match in 2022 after the victory with a unanimous decision over the Australian fighter Andrew Moloni.

COACH ROBERT GARCIA

One of the best coaches in boxing made Rodriguez and Franco a priority. Robert Garcia has taken both boxers under his wing since the beginning of their careers, even training them in Riverside, California, when it comes to preparing for fights.

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Garcia trains Anthony Joshua’s heavyweight division in London, England, as he prepares for his title fight in August. However, Garcia agreed to train Joshua that if Rodriguez or Franco fight for the title during training camp, Garcia will be able to leave to be in the corner for his boxers.

That’s where Garcia was on Saturday night, in the corner of Rodriguez, guiding his young champion.

“Since I made a deal with Joshua, I told him that if my champions fought while I was there, I would go and they agreed,” Garcia said. “The same goes for Franco and that was our deal. They would fly me down and bring me back. “

“For Robert, it means everything to be here,” Rodriguez explained. “It shows that Robert takes care of us not only in the ring, but outside of it. He has been teaching me since I was 15 years old. Having Robert around is like having a second dad. ”

Franco added: “It means a lot to him to be here. It just shows how much he cares about us, cares about my brother. He is our coach, but over time he is more like a family. He takes care of us. That means a lot to Robert. ”

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Garcia told KSAT 12 Sports after the match that he planned for Rodriguez to return to compete in the 112-pound range and fight for the flyweight title.

“I want to leave category 115 open to Franco,” Garcia explained. “Franco was the champion there first. “Bam didn’t even have to be the champion of 115. We were aiming for 108-112, so I want to take him down to 112.”

Garcia added: “It’s time for the younger fighters, it’s time for the new blood.”

Daniel P. Villanueva has been working with KSAT 12 for more than 19 years and is an award-winning producer. To send story ideas, send an email dvillanueva@ksat.com

Copyright 2022 by KSAT – All rights reserved.



Rodriguez reached star status in defending the title

Source link Rodriguez reached star status in defending the title

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