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Jesse Rodriguez vacates his WBC super flyweight title

Image: Jesse Rodriguez vacates his WBC super flyweight title

By Dan Ambrose: In a surprise move, Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez vacated his WBC super flyweight title on Wednesday, choosing to give it up to move down to the 112-lb division to attempt to become a two-division world champion at age 22.

It’s a move that might have saved Rodriguez (17-0, 11 KOs) from getting beaten by Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez because he was his #1 ranked contender with the WBC, and he wanted his belt.

The official reason for the 22-year-old Bam Rodriguez vacating his WBC 115-lb title is that he wants to move down to the flyweight division to target champions Julio Cesar Martinez for his WBC strap and IBF champ Sunny Edwards.

Those are a lot more winnable fights for Bam Rodriguez than defending against former four-division world champion Chocolatito Gonzalez or Juan Francisco Estrada.

Bam’s loyal boxing fans will point out that he recently stopped former two-time WBC super flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai by an eighth round knockout last June and that he had twice beaten Chocolatito in 2017.

The difference is that Rungvisai was 30 years old and in the prime of his career when he beat Chocolatito twice. It was a much different Rungvisai than the 35-year-old version that Bam Rodriguez defeated. Rungvisai had really aged in the last five years and wasn’t the same fighter that had fought Chocolatito.

“The WBC has been officially informed by our undefeated champion in the super flyweight division Jesse Rodríguez of his decision to vacate his Green and Gold Belt, to move down and compete in a lighter weight category,” per WBC.

Jessie had a good year in 2022, defeating Carlos Cuadras to win the vacant WBC super flyweight title and then defeating Rungvisai and Israel Gonzalez.

The win for Bam Rodriguez over Israel Gonzalez last September was a little too close for comfort, as it was razor-close. Two of the judges scored it wide for Bam, scoring it 118-109 and 117-110.

However, the third judge had the arguably more accurate score of the three, scoring it 114-113. That’s how close the fight actually was.

What this contest showed is that Bam isn’t as good as some boxing fans thought he was, and if he’s not vacated his WBC title, he would have surely been beaten by Chocolatito.

Going down in weight to 112 will allow Bam Rodriguez to pick up one or two easy belts against Julio Cesar Martinez and Sunny Edwards.

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