Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez won’t be going back down to flyweight for his next fight after all, as the WBC junior bantamweight titleholder is set to defend his belt, and on a huge night for boxing.
Rodriguez (16-0, 11 KO), who is boxing’s youngest world champion at the moment at age 22 and has made a huge splash this year with wins over Carlos Cuadras and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, will be in the chief support role for Canelo vs GGG 3 on Sept. 17, a DAZN pay-per-view and one of the biggest fights of the year.
“Bam” will face Israel Gonzalez (28-4-1, 11 KO), who in all honesty is a notable step back in competition, but one that’s earned as much as any is, and one that makes sense and gets him involved in a massive show, where he’ll have a lot more eyeballs on him than usual.
That said, Gonzalez is also not a “bum” or anything, though he will be a huge underdog for good reasons. You may have seen him in a loss to Jerwin Ancajas in an IBF title fight in 2018, or a loss to Khalid Yafai in 2018 in a WBA title, or a loss to Chocolatito Gonzalez in 2020, another WBA title fight.
Rodriguez has become a major fan favorite, is considered one of boxing’s bright young rising stars, and even if you see this as a stay-busy title defense, I think pretty much everyone will be happy to see him back again as part of this show.