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Should Jesse Rodriguez fight Chocolatito Gonzalez next?

Image: Should Jesse Rodriguez fight Chocolatito Gonzalez next?

By Allan Fox: Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez & his handlers have to decide whether to stay at 115 to defend his WBC super flyweight title against the legend Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez retreat and fall back to the safety of the 112-lb division to face the lesser-known fighters to avoid a potential loss.

The former four-division world champion Chocoltito (51-3, 41 KOs) is someone that Bam Rodriguez will need to fight soon because he’s 35 now, and he’s not going to hang around for years waiting for his management to give him the green light to make the fight finally.

This isn’t a situation where Bam Rodriguez is another Canelo Alvarez who ages Chocolatito and waits until he’s over the hill before fighting him. Chocolatito won’t be around four or five years for that to happen.

Besides that, Bam Rodriguez is growing, and he’ll likely wind up at 135 or 140 by the time he stops filling out.

Bam Rodriguez (16-0, 11 KOs) has set the boxing world on fire this year with wins over aging former world champions Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and Carlos Cuadras.

The victories by the 22-year-old Bam have some boxing fans believing he can clean out both the 112 & 115-lb divisions and then move up to 118 to beat Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue.

Bam Rodriguez’s promoter Eddie Hearn seems to believe he can do it, as he was already talking about him being too good for Chocolatito and Juan Francisco Estrada following his recent 8th round knockout victory over 35-year-old Rungvisai on June 25th at the Techport Arena in San Antonio, Texas.

Unlike Hearn, Bam’s trainer Robert Garcia wasn’t mentioning Chocolatito or Juan Estrada after the fight.

Instead, Robert was talking about wanting Bam to drop down in weight and challenge Julio Cesar Rodriguez for his WBC flyweight title.

“Chocolatito is on the backside of his career. I don’t think you let it marinate too long before that fight doesn’t exist for him,” said Chris Mannox on DAZN’s Jabs about whether Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez should stay at 115 and defend his WBC super flyweight title against Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez next rather than drop back down to 112.

“You know what it’s like to drop down in weight and have it be a struggle. I know 112 is only three pounds, but don’t you think that having fought at 115 twice and getting used to that weight and then shrinking back down to 112 might be a bad idea?

“Julio Cesar Martinez couldn’t make weight for this fight, hasn’t made weight, and has struggled to make weight in recent fights. Don’t you think staying at one weight that makes sense makes sense?” said Mannix about Bam Rodriguez needing to stay at 115 rather than moving back down to 112.

“When you look back at history, you look at who you beat, who you faced, and how many championships and how many divisions,” said Sergio Mora. “He’s [Bam Rodriguez] already a champion at 115. If he can be a multi-division champion in different championships, that’s exactly how you become great,” said Mora.

“That’s stupid. Who cares about belts?” said Mannix.

“No, no, no, belts aren’t stupid. You never won a belt. You don’t know what it’s like to be a champion. You come from privilege and nepotism. That’s why you don’t know what you’re talking about either,” said Mora. “I squandered money, so what?”

“I didn’t even say that,” said Mannix.

“I got to the top, but I didn’t stay that long, but I got to the top,” said former WBC junior middleweight champion Mora.

“You’re right; you didn’t stay there that long,” said Mannix. “Look, you want a legacy? Forget world titles. Bam Rodriguez just beat Carlos Cuadras a few months ago. He just beat Srisaket Sor Rungvisai on Saturday.

“Do you think that if he doesn’t knock off the other two kings [Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez and Juan Francisco Estrada] in the super flyweight division, that’s not legacy-defining? That gets you in the Hall of Fame right there.

“He can be a first bout Hall of Famer before he’s 24 years old,” said Mannix about Bam Rodriguez.

“I think your bitting off more than you can chew,” said Mora about Bam Rodriguez. “Whenever you’re dealing with such a precocious and gifted young fighter, you’ve got to soak it up, suck it out and promote him and put him in the right venues, the right fights.

“That’s what Eddie Hearn specializes in. Take him all around Texas, make him a big attraction. He’s a little man, but he can become a big attraction. That’s what you do with Bam Rodriguez,” said Mora.

“Sergio wants to see Bam Rodriguez against [36-year-old] McWilliams Arroyo in his next fight. I want to see him against Chocolatito. We’ll let you guys decide,” said Mannix.


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