SAN ANTONIO – Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez and Joshua Franco hope to share a stage for their next respective outings in addition to already campaigning in the same weight division.
The pair of reigning junior bantamweight titlists from San Antonio—Rodriguez the recently crowned WBC champ, Franco a secondary WBA title claimant—soaked in the atmosphere throughout fight week for Ryan Garcia’s ring return which took place April 9 at the city’s famed Alamodome. Both local heroes were well received by their adoring public, most of whom wondered aloud when they would bring home a championship doubleheader.
That could come as soon as the end of spring or early summertime.
“I haven’t heard anything yet but I know I’m going to be fighting sometime around June,” Rodriguez confirmed with BoxingScene.com. “They’re working on a doubleheader with me and my brother.
“If it doesn’t work out next, it will down the line. It has to. San Antonio loves us and we love San Antonio.”
Rodriguez (15-0, 10KOs) has twice before fought in his hometown, though neither coming on the same card as Franco (18-1-2, 8KOs), who fought just once in San Antonio. Rodriguez’s local appearances came within the first five fights of his career, well before the 22-year-old southpaw claimed the WBC junior bantamweight title in a points win over former champ Carlos Cuadras this past February 5 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Franco’s lone hometown fight came in a ninth-round knockout of Jose Alejandro Burgos on a January 2020 DAZN show from the Alamodome, in supporting capacity to unbeaten former WBO junior middleweight titlist Jaime Munguia. Three fights have followed for Franco, all versus Australia’s Andrew Moloney (22-2, 14KOs), two in Vegas—including Franco’s June 2020 title-winning effort in their first fight—and their trilogy bout last August in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Next up for the 26-year-old Franco is an already ordered title consolidation clash with lineal/WBA “Super” champion Juan Francisco Estrada (42-3, 28KOs).
The fight is currently the subject of an April 19 purse bid hearing, though with either fighter’s promoter likely to win which would keep it on DAZN. Franco fights under the Golden Boy Promotions banner, while Estrada and primary promoter Zanfer Boxing work with Matchroom Boxing. Despite their inability to make a deal in time to avoid a purse bid, there is hope that some level of cooperation comes once promotional rights are sorted—including previously discussed plans for Franco and Rodriguez to bring home a title fight doubleheader.
“I’m hoping it does. That’s what I’m hoping for,” Franco told BoxingScene.com. “There have been talks of the fight coming here and my brother being on the show. That would be amazing. We’re confident it will come here.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox