Jesse Rodriguez will end his star-making 2022 campaign without a belt around his waist. The WBC announced today that “Bam” has vacated his super flyweight title after two successful defenses in order to once again compete at 112 pounds.
Rodriguez (17-0, 11 KO) was building himself up as a flyweight contender, regularly weighing in below 110 lbs., before stepping up at the eleventh hour to overpower Carlos Cuadras for the vacant 115-lb. title. He went on to utterly demolish Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in one of the year’s most impressive single performances, then made it three-for-three on the year with a tough decision over Israel Gonzalez.
Jake Donovan reports that he intends to target the WBO flyweight belt, which champion Junto Nakatani figures to vacate after his upcoming super flyweight debut against Francisco Rodriguez Jr. If the WBO approves, he’ll almost certainly face fellow young gun Cristian Gonzalez for the belt.
Though I’m a little disappointed that we won’t get to see him trade hands with some of the best at 115, I’m sure he’ll return eventually. He’s still just 22 and will likely grow into a proper super flyweight in time.
As for the WBC belt, the WBC should just put it up for grabs when Juan Francisco Estrada defends his franchise belt against Roman Gonzalez in December. If they do, we might actually end up with an undisputed super flyweight champion by the end of 2023 if Fernando Martinez and the winner of Kazuto Ioka vs Joshua Franco are game.