Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez’s list of favorite fighters is as diverse as his skillset.
In a recent interview, the highly regarded WBC junior bantamweight titlist was asked to name some of the active fighters whom he enjoys watching the most today.
Rodriguez – who is set to make the first defense of his title against former champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai of Thailand this Saturday at Tech Port Arena in his hometown of San Antonino – named a slew of top fighters, all distinct from one another. Among them, 168-pound undisputed champion Canelo Alvarez, three-division Ukrainian titlist Vasiliy Lomachenko, and welterweight champions Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr.
“Canelo, Lomachenko, Terence Crawford, Spence,” Rodriguez said on The DAZN Boxing Show. “I mean, there’s a lot of fighters out there that are must-watch TV.”
Rodriguez, 22, made a name for himself earlier this year, in February, when he moved up from flyweight to take on battle-tested veteran Carlos Cuadras in a 115-pound vacant title bout. Rodriguez shined, dropping Cuadras three times en route to a 12-round decision at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona.
In Sor Rungvisai (50-5-1, 43 KOs), Rodriguez (15-0, 10 KOs) will face presumably an even stiffer test; the Thai southpaw’s only significant defeat in the past several years was at the hands of Juan Francisco Estrada, the unified junior bantamweight champion, a points loss in what was otherwise a close fight.
Asked about Alvarez’s recent loss to Dmitry Bivol, the WBA 175-pound titlist, in their light heavyweight match last month, Rodriguez admitted that it was clear by the middle rounds that one of his favorite fighters had no answer for the Russian.
“I honestly thought Canelo was going to be able to do more,” Rodriguez said. “I thought he was going to win the fight by unanimous decision or a knockout for sure. Once I saw Bivol he was doing his thing and Canelo, his punches weren’t affecting Bivol so much. So after like the sixth round I knew Bivol was in his zone and there was no getting him out of it.”
Rodriguez, however, refused to choose a side in a potential undisputed welterweight fight involving WBO titlist Crawford and IBF, WBC, and WBA champion Spence.
“That’s a tough fight,” Rodriguez said. “Terence Crawford is able to adapt to any style, but you can’t count out Errol Spence because he’s a dog as well. It’s a 50-50 fight to me.”