Is Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez making a mistake fighting Srisaket Sor Rungvisai?

By Will Arons - 04/26/2022 - Comments

WBC super flyweight champion Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez is going to be taking on the still dangerous former two-time WBC 115-lb champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai on June 25th in the headliner on DAZN at the Tech Port Arena in San Antonio, Texas.

If Rungvisai proves to be too much for Bam Rodriguez, at least he’ll be young enough to bounce back from the defeat by returning to the 112-lb division.

Rodriguez is too weak in the power department to deal with the big punchers at 115 like Rungvisai in my view. You got to respect Bam for taking this fight with Rungvisai, but’s likely going to end really badly for him.

If the 22-year-old ‘Bam’ Rodriguez thought the faded Carlos Cuadras was a tough opponent last February, wait until he gets a load of the firepower the powerful southpaw Rungvisai (50-5-1, 43 KOs) brings to the table in June.

Bam Rodriguez won the vacant WBC super flyweight title with a 12-round unanimous decision four months ago against the 33-year-old Cuadras in Phoenix, Arizona.

Rodriguez vs. Rungvisai undercard:

  • Julio Cesar Martinez and McWilliams Arroyo
  • Murodjon Akhmadaliev vs. Ronny Rios.
  • Jessica McCaskill vs. TBA

Rungvisai, 35, is an advanced fighter that would be tough for even the best guys at 115 like Juan Francisco Estrada and Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez, but he might be a step too far for Rodriguez (15-0, 10 KOs), who has only fought once at super flyweight against Cuadras.

Rodriguez was forced to become defensive after five rounds due to Cuadras connecting with a lot of uppercuts and body shots that were taking a lot out of him. Even when ‘Bam’ Rodriguez got on his bike, it was still a grueling fight for him.

One got the sense that if Cuadras were six years younger and still in his prime, he would have battered Rodriguez into submission with his superior power and offensive skills.

‘Bam’ Rodriguez lucked out in fighting Cuadras for the vacant WBC 115-lb title instead of Juan Francisco Estrada, Chocolatito, or Rungvisai.

The way Rodriguez looked against Cuadras, he would have been in over his head against those guys. Rodriguez is more of Kal Yafai clone, and that type of fighter can’t hang with the big four in the division.

“Fighting a guy like Rungvisai is going to bring me to a whole new level,” said Bam Rodriguez. “He’s a great fighter but this is my time now. You have to take risks in this sport, that’s what special fighters do.

“They said it was a risk for me to challenge for a World title fight on short notice and now they say it’s a risk-taking on a fighter like Rungvisai but this is what I want. These are the types of fights you need,” said Bam.

Rungvisai’s only loss in the last eight years was a narrow 12-round unanimous defeat in his rematch with Juan Estrada in April 2019 in Los Angeles. The Thai fighter had already beaten Estrada in their first fight in 2018.

In the rematch, Estrada ran around the ring, trying his best to avoid the powerful shots from Rungvisai. It was ugly to watch Estrada, a fighter known for his brawling style, reduced to running to try and win.

It’s obvious that Rodriguez will follow Estrada’s blueprint by hitting & running against Rungvisai because he doesn’t possess the power to stay in the trenches with the Thai fighter.

In an interesting undercard fight, WBC flyweight champion Julio Cesar Martinez (18-2, 14 KOs) will be defending against #1 contender McWilliams Arroyo (21-4, 16 KOs) in a rematch.

The two fighters fought last November in a clash that ended in the third round with the fight ruled a no-contest due to Arroyo suffering an injury from a clash of heads.

Martinez looked like he was on his way to a victory after dropping Arroyo in the second round, and was overpowering the 36-year-old.

In Rey Martinez’s last fight, he moved up to 115 and was outclassed by Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez last March, losing a one-sided 12-round unanimous decision.

The 27-year-old Martinez took a lot of punishment against Chocolatito, and it’s unclear if he’s going to be at his best after a beating like that.

If Martinez is 100%, he should have no problems beating Arroyo once he deals with some issues early.

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