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Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez to face Cristian Gonzalez for vacant WBO 112-lb title

Image: Jesse 'Bam' Rodriguez to face Cristian Gonzalez for vacant WBO 112-lb title

By Dan Ambrose: Former WBC super flyweight champion Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez will battle #1 ranked Cristian Gonzalez for the vacant WBO 112-lb title.

Earlier today, the World Boxing Organization approved Bam Rodriguez (17-0, 11 KOs) to fight Cristian Gonzalez (15-1, 5 KOs) for the vacant WBO flyweight title. Cristian has a weak resume, making it difficult to know how good he actually is.

The WBO 112lb belt was vacated by Junto Nakatani, who will be moving up 115 to campaign as a super flyweight.

Bam Rodriguez vacated his WBC 115-lb title on Wednesday, choosing to drop the belt to move down to the 112-lb division with the goal in mind of becoming a two-division world champion.

Some boxing fans believe the true reason for the 22-year-old Bam Rodriguez giving up his WBC super flyweight title is to avoid fighting his #1 contender Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez.

As good as Bam is, he’s not shown the kind of ability that Chocolatito possesses, and it would have been bad for him to take on the talented former four-division world champion from Nicaragua.

Moving down to 112 is a good decision for Rodriguez because the division is utterly weak, and the champions are all beatable. In other words, there’s not a Chocolatito or Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue that Bam Rodriguez would need to worry about.

The champions at 112:

  • Sunny Edwards – IBF
  • Julio Cesar Martinez – WBC
  • Artem Dalakian

It’s believed that Bam Rodriguez will stay at flyweight long enough to become the undisputed champion in that weight class. Whether that’s feasible by the end of 2023 is unclear.

You can beat Bam Rodriguez’s promoters will be offering big money to lure the three champions at 112 to fight him, assuming he successfully defeats Cristian Gonzalez to capture the vacant WBO 112-lb title next.

In 2022, Jesse defeated these well-known fighters: Carlos Cuadras, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, and Israel Gonzalez. The win for Bam Rodrigez over Israel Gonzalez was a narrow one in which he appeared to barely win.

Interestingly, two of the judges scored it wide for the A-side fighter Bam, but in reality, it was very, very close. The performance by Rodriguez showed that he’s not in the same galaxy as Chocolatito or even the faded Juan Francisco Estrada. Hence, Bam Rodriguez is moving down to 112 to navigate in safer waters rather than deal with those sharks and get eaten up.


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