“Bam” Plan: It's to infinity and beyond for Jesse Rodriguez

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Tremendous-flyweight sensation Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez tells Phil Rogers that what we’ve noticed to this point slightly scratches the skin as he plots his flight to greatness

THEY say it takes a life-time to grow to be an in a single day good fortune. For plenty of fights lovers 2022 has been the yr they came upon a super-flyweight gem in Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez. But for the 22-year-old himself it’s been the fruits of a life-time of toil and battle, each for him and his whole circle of relatives.

“I’ve been boxing for just about 13 years now so numerous other folks don’t know the lot of exhausting paintings and sacrifice I’ve been via,” he tells Boxing Information. “Now not handiest me however my circle of relatives. My circle of relatives went via such a lot all the way through my novice profession. We had been so broke and it was once exhausting to get to tournaments. We needed to do fundraisers, get loans from other firms. It was once a difficult time. But it surely’s all a part of the method. And I’m so blessed to have the oldsters and the staff that I've.”

Rodriguez has regarded vastly spectacular all over his 16-fight skilled adventure however it wasn’t till February of this yr, when he was once named as a overdue alternative to tackle Mexico’s Carlos Cuadras, that he actually introduced himself onto the boxing panorama. The younger Texan have been earmarked for the undercard of an enormous combat between Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and Cuadras, but if the Thai wrecking ball withdrew via sickness Rodriguez seized the chance to leap up a weight elegance to 115lbs and combat for the vacant WBC super-flyweight strap at every week’s realize.

“It was once lovely loopy. I used to be consuming espresso, it was once within the morning and my dad known as me and he was once like, ‘Did you listen?’ I used to be like, ‘No. What came about?’ The way in which my yr was once going the yr sooner than I believed that they had cancelled my combat. So when he known as me I simply concept it was once dangerous information on the time. But if he stated I used to be combating Carlos Cuadras for the arena identify I used to be greater than excited and I couldn’t go the chance up. Any fights they provide me, I’ve all the time stated sure. I’ve by no means grew to become down anyone. I consider in my staff. I consider the entire fights they get me, they’re on the proper time. In order that’s why I by no means doubt anything else that my staff gives me.”

Such was once the efficiency of the younger challenger that Rodriguez was once right away the debate of the boxing international, shedding his massively skilled foe on easy methods to an confident issues victory. With such an esteemed identify on his document many would have forgiven the teenager for taking an more uncomplicated problem in his subsequent combat. But Bam (brief for ‘Bambino’, his nickname since delivery) was once intent on difficult himself even additional, electing to take at the very guy he’d changed in Rungvisai. It was once this show that actually increased Rodriguez to attainable famous person standing, breaking down and knocking out one of the most decrease weight elegance’s maximum bold punchers.

“It was once extra psychological than anything else. The arrogance I won, no longer handiest from Rungvisai but additionally Carlos Cuadras. I’m so blessed to be combating those guys as a result of I grew up staring at them, in an effort to be within the ring with them and beating them the way in which that I've been, it’s extra self belief than anything else. To be within the ring with Carlos Cuadras and Rungvisai, then getting within the ring with every other fighter, it’s simply gonna be like a stroll within the park, mentally,” he says.

“Taking a global identify combat towards a former international champion, that proper there may be taking an enormous chance. After which to shield it for the primary time towards Rungvisai, any other legend on the decrease weight categories this is chasing extra greatness? That’s taking a fair larger chance than the Carlos Cuadras combat, simply as a result of the ability he carries. I’ve simply by no means doubted myself or my staff. In order that’s why I take those fights. I consider in myself. So anytime I step into that ring I already know I’m gonna win.”

Rodriguez is open about his fixation with attaining greatness within the game. When requested concerning the thought of more uncomplicated fights to showcase his dazzling footwork and mixture punching he sounds nearly angry, weighing in on different combatants in additional prime profile weight categories who select to not take a look at themselves towards the most efficient opposition conceivable.

“I simply really feel like they’re protective their undefeated document. However I don’t truly care about any of that. I already know that after I step into that ring I’m gonna win, so I by no means doubt myself. I think like perhaps combatants doubt themselves every now and then in order that’s why I don’t take the massive fights, to take dangers. However like I stated in my interviews all the way through combat week, I wanna be a unique fighter. Now not your reasonable fighter.”

Jesse Rodriguez stops Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in San Antonio, Texas (Melina Pizano/Matchroom)

With information showed closing week that Rodriguez could be taking up Israel Gonzalez because the co-main match at the large Canelo vs GGG III combat the Texan is now gearing up for the most important degree of his lifestyles. For such an bold fighter the chance is one thing he’s champing on the bit to accomplish on.

“It’s a world combat and the entire international’s gonna be tuned into that. So it’s an enormous alternative to give myself. The yr I’ve had I’ve had much more eyes on me however combating on a Canelo card, it’s gonna be triple that. It’s gonna be one thing particular.”

Gonzalez can be Bam’s 3rd opponent in his newfound weight elegance of 115lbs, but shedding backtrack to flyweight remains to be very a lot in his plans for the longer term. A possible combat with Britain’s Sunny Edwards has already been mentioned, no longer least through Edwards himself, and Rodriguez lighting fixtures up on the considered travelling over to tackle such an intriguing problem.

“I really like that combat. I’ve all the time watched when an American is going to the United Kingdom and fights the United Kingdom combatants. It’s one thing I’ve all the time sought after to enjoy. So if the chance offered itself I'd take it instantly,” he proclaims.

“112 (lbs), I will nonetheless make that. I imply, I make 115 (lbs) slightly simple so a couple of extra kilos wouldn’t be an issue. With the staff I've, they know what they’re doing and so they know the way to learn how to reduce weight, so I’m in just right fingers and we do plan on going backtrack to 112. However at 115 I think higher than ever. I think robust. And I’m handiest 22 years outdated so my energy’s nonetheless gonna come. I’m no longer even a complete grown guy. So on the finish of my profession I consider I’ll almost definitely be round 126-130.

“I’m no longer even in my top but. The issues that I’ve proven you, that’s just a bit sneak peek of the way nice I’m gonna be after I’m in my top.”

Central to Rodriguez’s good fortune has been the presence of Robert Garcia. The extremely skilled instructor signed the flyweight superstar to a managerial deal when he was once only a teenage novice, guiding him right into a promotional care for decrease weight consultants, Teiken Promotions. Garcia has remained an crucial a part of Rodriguez’s staff, no longer handiest growing his skillset as a boxer however serving to to mentor him as his good fortune and reputation grows.

“My trainer, Robert Garcia, he known as me the opposite day. He talked to me about learn how to deal with issues at this level in my profession. I’m simply so blessed to have Robert. He’s no longer just a just right instructor however on the finish of the day he’s a super pal of mine and, I'd say, he’s nearly like any other dad.”

Consideration now turns to Bam’s exhibit combat on September 17, Mexican Independence Day, in Las Vegas. The sensation of invincibility that’s been cultivated inside of him after the sort of a success 2022 has Rodriguez lit up on the prospect of taking up even essentially the most feared opposition (“In the end, I would like a combat with [Naoya] Inoue. We will do it in Japan. It’ll be large! Mega combat!”). Bam’s obsession with greatness, he assures us, has handiest simply begun.

“I think like the place I'm presently, it’s future. I got here throughout numerous hindrances to get right here however I’m greater than blessed to be in place that I'm. At some point be expecting extra international titles, extra exceptional performances. Like I stated, that is it’s handiest been a sneak peek and I’m handiest gonna get well and higher and higher, combat after combat. Sky’s the prohibit at this level.”