By Allan Fox: Shakur Stevenson believes Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez will be ready to defeat superstar Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue within two years.
Shakur rates the 22-year-old WBC super flyweight champion Bam Rodriguez (16-0, 11 KOs) as one of his favorite fighters after beating 35-year-old Srisaket Sor Rungvisai last Saturday night and his 12-round unanimous decision win over Carlos Cuadras earlier this year.
Bam Rodriguez did an excellent job of slowing down the offense of Rungvisai by moving & holding last Saturday night at the Tech Port Arena in San Antonio, Texas.
Stevenson might be getting a little ahead of himself in praise for Bam Rodriguez because his last two opponents, Rungvisai and 33-year-old Cuadras, were no longer in their primes. Both of them saw their heyday come & go four to six years ago.
At this stage in their careers, they were old fossils well-vetted by Bam Rodriguez’s management & deemed a non-threat to beating him.
What we’ve seen from Bam is a product of careful match-making by his promoters by putting him in with the old guys, Cuadras & Rungvisai, and then crowing about the wins. What we’re seeing is fools gold, and, sadly, young fighters like Shakur Stevenson have been tricked along with many casual boxing fans.
If Bam’s promoters at Matchroom Boxing believe he’s a superstar, then they’ll match him against one of these fighters next:
Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez
Juan Francisco Estrada
If Bam Rodriguez is so good, why are his promoters & trainer Robert Garcia so desperate to match him against recently beaten Julio Cesar Martinez next rather than Chocolatito, Fulton, Donaire, Estrada, or Inoue?
For those that don’t remember, Rey Martinez was schooled by Chocolatito in his last fight and took a bad beating in a one-sided loss. How does Bam Rodriguez come out ahead by fighting Rey Martinez with him coming off a loss to Chocolatito? Where’s the gain in that?
Again, this is all about trying to sell a product by matching a fighter against flawed guys to make him look better than he is. It’s fools gold. If Bam Rodriguez is the real deal, throw him in with Chocolatito, and let’s see how great he is.
Promoters are slick with how they build a fighter by matching them against old guys to make them look like the real thing. Unfortunately, when those fighters are matched against quality guys, they fall apart, but not until they’ve made their money.
That’s why we won’t see Bam Rodriguez put in with anyone good that can beat him because he’ll lose, and then the jig will be up.
They’re not going to let Bam Rodriguez anywhere near those fighters because he doesn’t pack the punching power to beat any of them, and the clinching & moving he does won’t be enough to defeat those talents.
“We know what Bam is all about, and we know his talent in the gym,” said Bam Rodriguez’s trainer Robert Garcia to Little Giant Boxing. “When they offered us the fight, I never had any doubt that we could beat him [Rungvisai].
“Bam is one of my fav fighters, wow he’s so special I would love to see him vs the monster just give him 2 more years,” Shakur Stevenson said on Twitter.
“Bro that kid so special and he been special crazy thing bout it,” said Shakur about Bam Rodriguez. “I’m picking Bam in 2 years I promise, sorry but this kid is so special.”
“Honestly, I want him to go back down to 112. If there’s a champion at 112 willing to fight him, we would love to,” said Robert on what his plans are for Bam Rodriguez. “I don’t want to mention names.
“The WBC would probably be the easiest one [to make], but with Rey Martinez, we don’t know if he’s going to make weight if he’s going to show up, if he’s going to fight if he’s going to get sick. He’s done it many times, so I don’t know.
“Perfect, excellent,” said Robert when asked how he rates Bam Rodriguez’s performance against Rungvisai.
“I got to talk to Eddie [Hearn] about that,” said Robert about Bam Rodriguez potentially fighting on the undercard of Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennadiy Golovkin III on September 17th.
“It might be too soon, but I think when he takes a couple of weeks off, he’ll be ready to go back to the gym.
“It’s a business, and we had to work things out. In the end, everybody ended up seeing one of the best pound-for-pound in the world, “Robert Garcia continued about Bam Rodriguez.
“The future is just; he’s only 22, he’s a baby. He said in the first rounds; he felt he [Rungvisai] was very strong, but after that, he didn’t feel his power anymore. He was still strong physically, but he was never bothered by his power.
“He kept fighting smart. This guy [Rungvisai] was very experienced and very dangerous. So we kept still telling him to fight him smart. Coming into the last round, he hurt him and knew how to finish him,” said Garcia.
There’s no one at 112 for Bam Rodriguez to fight that the boxing public has ever heard of other than Rey Martinez, but he’s coming off a one-sided loss to Chocolatito.
The boxing fans familiar with Rey Martinez are well aware of his one-sided loss to Chocolatito, and they’re not going to be impressed with Bam Rodriguez fighting him now after that defeat. Fans with no idea who Rey Martinez is won’t notice Bam Rodriguez fighting him, and it’s a division that fans don’t follow. Fans ignore the 112-lb division.
“Keep fighting smart, use feints and use angles, and stay smart,” Robert said when asked what he was telling Bam Rodriguez between rounds. “We knew throughout the fight that we had to fight smart.
“Last year, we were struggling to get him fights, we had a hard time getting him fights, and I got him two fights with Top Rank. It was hard to get him a contract,” said Robert about the problems they’d had in the recent past attempting to get fights for Bam Rodriguez.