By Mark Eisner: In a masterful performance, WBC super flyweight champion Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez (16-0, 11 KOs) stopped former two-time WBC 115-lb champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (50-6-1, 43 KOs) in the eighth round on Saturday night at the Tech Port Arena in San Antonio, Texas.
The 22-year-old Bam Rodriguez dropped the 35-year-old Rungvisai with a right hand to the head in the seventh round. In the eighth round, Rodriguez unloaded with a flurry of shots that hurt Rungvisai, sending him to the ropes.
The referee then stepped in and halted the fight when it was clear that Rungvisai was hurt, and throwing nothing back in his defense.
- In a thrilling co-feature bout, unbeaten IBF/WBA super bantamweight champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev (11-0, 8 KOs) stopped Ronny Rios (33-4, 16 KOs0 in the 12th round. The 2016 Olympian Akhmadaliev dropped Rios with a body shot in the 12th. After Rios got back to his feet, the 27-year-old Akhmadaliev teed off on Rios with shots until the referee stepped in and halted the contest. The southpaw Akhmadaliev hurt his left hand in round two and was forced to use mostly his right hand until the 12th. That’s when Akhmadaliev unloaded with left hands to the body that hurt Rios. The difference in the pedigree was the difference in this fight. Akhmadaliev, who had an incredible amateur background in Uzbekistan, was too skilled for the rugged veteran Rios.
- Undisputed female welterweight champion Jessica McCaskill (12-2, 5 KOs) stopped the hopelessly overmatched Alma Ibarra (10-2, 4 KOs) by a third-round retirement. After the third round ended, Ibarra opted not to continue. McCaskill had been hitting Ibarra at will with shots, but not looking overly impressive for an undisputed champion.
- Featherweight prospect Raymond Ford (12-0-1, 6 KOs) put on a masterclass performance in defeating Richard Medina (13-1, 7 KOs) by a one-sided 10-round unanimous decision. The scores were 100-90, 100-90, and 99-91.
- Middleweight prospect Nikita ‘White Chocolate’ Ababiy (12-0, 6 KOs) labored to a questionable 8-round unanimous decision over Noe Larios Jr (14-2, 6 KOs). The judges’ scores were 78-74, 78-74, and 78-74. As usual, the 23-year-old Ababiy came out slugging without defense and threw bombs all night. As such, Ababiy was hit a lot and looked like the loser at the end. It’s fair to say the scoring was quite generous for the A-side Ababiy. Matchroom Boxing promotion is likely keeping Ababiy around as an undercard entertainer type of fighter, as he doesn’t appear to possess the talent to capture a world title in the future. As far as this writer can tell, I don’t see any improvement in Ababiy’s skill set from how he looked when he started his professional career 12 fights ago.
- Unbeaten bantamweight prospect Jesus Martinez (2-0) defeated Keven Monroy (1-3, 1 KOs) by a four-round unanimous decision. The scores were 38-38, 39-37, and 39-36.
“Rungvisai is a really tough opponent, tough to read and tough to prepare for, but he should beat him if he makes adjustments. But if he doesn’t make adjustments, Rungvisai will beat him,” said Roy Jones Jr. to DAZN about Jesse Rodriguez’s fight tonight against Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.
“Jesse Rodriguez is young, he’s powerful and he’s coming off a career-best win over Carlos Cuadras,” said Chris Mannix. “I’m taking the 35-year-old warrior, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai to come away with the win.
“Since 2014, Sor Rungvisai has lost just once and that was a close decision to Juan Francisco Estrada. Since 2014, he has two wins over Chocolatito, he has one over Estrada, and he has more power than anyone in the 115-pound division. I think that is going to be the difference.
“I think this is going to be a close fight early, both fighters have great moments, but I think Sor Rungvisai’s power catches up to Rodriguez eventually and he picks up a late stoppage,” said Mannix.
“I’m going with Bam because he’s young and they’re both southpaws,” said Nonito Donaire. “They’re both southpaws and there’s no difference in and he knows how to fight.
“Jesse, I think he’s the better fighter and I think he wants it more based on his last performance [against Carlos Cuadras] that he had,” said Bernard Hopkins in picking Rodriguez over Rungvisai. “He’s a beast.”
“It’s going to be fireworks from the first round to whenever it last,” said Jesse Rodriguez about his fight tonight. “It doesn’t matter if it’s the first round, second round, and so on to the twelfth. I’m going to go in and do my thing.
“I’ve got to stick to my game plan the whole fight. You know it’s a dangerous fight. Rungvisai has the power to change the fight at any moment, so I’m going to have to be on my A-game the whole time. So expect a spectacular performance, a boxing lesson and if the stoppage comes it comes,” said Rodriguez.
WBC super flyweight champion Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez (15-0, 10 KOs) has a tough customer tonight against Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (50-5-1, 43 KOs) in their headliner on DAZN at the Tech Port Arena in San Antonio, Texas.
Rodriguez says fans should expect “fireworks” in this battle, and it should be a thrilling match to watch. He’s facing the biggest puncher in the division in Rungvisai, who has wins over Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez and Juan Francisco Estrada.