Estrada vs. Bam Rodriguez: A Potential Fight of the Year in the Making

By Dan Ambrose - 03/13/2024 - Comments

Promoter Eddie Hearn predicts Juan Franciso Estrada vs. Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez will be ‘Fight of the Year’ when the two meet on June 29th in Phoenix, Arizona.

Negotiations are still ongoing between WBC super flyweight champion Estrada (44-3, 28 KOs) and the unbeaten ‘Bam’ Rodriguez (19-0, 12 KOs), but Hearn is confident he’ll be able to get a deal done.

The 24-year-old Bam will be leaving his IBF and WBO flyweight titles behind, moving up in weight to challenge the 33-year-old Estrada for his WBC 115-lb title.

Hearn says that Rodriguez giving up his two titles at flyweight will open the door for the recently beaten former IBF 112-lb champion Sunny Edwards to capture one of them. Bam stopped Sunny in the ninth round last December in a competitive unification contest in Glendale, Arizona.

Eyes on Phoenix

“This is a fight that we’ve been working on for a long time. Estrada vs. Bam Rodriguez is just a stunner,” said promoter Eddie Hearn to the Matchroom Boxing YouTube channel, talking about the potential clash between WBC super flyweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada and Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez for June 29th.

“You keep seeing these small guys giving us unbelievable nights. Of course, Estrada against Chocolatito so many times [x 3]. Bam against Sunny [Edwards] last December was incredible, and Estrada against Bam is a fight-of-the-year contender written all over it,” said Hearn.

It could be a problem for Estrada that he’s coming off a two-year layoff since his win over Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez in 2022. That’s a big break for any fighter, especially one with as much mileage as Estrada has from his long career.

Hearn isn’t too concerned about Estrada’s ring rust, as he feels that he’s been in the game long enough to not need tune-ups to prepare for big fights.

“June 29th…it would do a huge crowd there [Phoenix], and Bam is up for the fight,”
said Hearn. “Estrada is up for the fight. We’re trying to close it off. It would be a huge Mexican undercard there in Phoenix as well, and hopefully, we can get it over the line.

Bam’s Move Up in Weight

“He would move up, which could open the doors for Sunny as well,” said Hearn when asked if Bam Rodriguez would have to vacate his IBF and WBO 112-lb titles when he challenges Estrada for his WBC super flyweight [115-lb] belt.

Staying at 112 would be a dead end for Bam Rodriguez because he would have more opportunities at 115, 118, and 122 against these fighters:

Kazuto Ioka
Fernando Martinez
Junto Nakatani
Takuma Inoue
Emmanuel Rodriguez
Jason Moloney
Naoya Inoue

“Ideally, he would have a runout, but the dates there. He’s not a spring chicken. I don’t think he needs to go through a certain amount of training camps. He’s ready to fight. He’s been ready to fight for a while. If he accepts the challenge of Bam Rodriguez, like I said, I think it’ll give us the fight of the year,” said Hearn when asked if Estrada should take a tune-up to prepare for Bam.

“Cuadras, Sor Rungvisai, Sunny Edwards, Estrada puts him pound-for-pound top three, and we really enjoy being in Phoenix on fight night, and that would do a huge crowd on June 29th,” said Hearn.

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