Rodriguez Fends Off Title Challenger Gonzalez; Wants Fighter Of The Year

Rodriguez Beats Hard-charging Israel Gonzalez in Second Belt Defense

Jesse Rodriguez defeats Israel Gonzalez
Jesse Rodriguez defeats Israel Gonzalez

Bam Rodriguez Wins Grueling Affair with Israel Gonzalez

Seeking to continue his ascension in the sport, WBC super flyweight champion Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez (17-0, 11 KO’s) sought to make the second defense of his title on the undercard of Alvarez vs Golovkin 3. Not only was Rodriguez on the immensely popular bill, he competed in the co-main event. In that match, Bam was pit against the might of Israel “Jiga” Gonzalez (28-5-1, 11 KO’s).

Life has been an extremely pleasant whirlwind for Rodriguez over the last seven months. This is because back on February 5, Bam snagged a colossal unanimous decision win over Carlos Cuadras. It was there in that upset win that he first took possession of the vacant WBC title. Then, proving the impressive performance was no fluke, the young pugilist stopped Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in his very next fight and first title defense.


To open the bout, Bam was certainly still cool, which allowed Gonzalez to take the early initiative. His brisk activity and open aggression carried Jiga through the early rounds of the fight. Rodriguez was not getting demolished but he did need to step on the gas. It took some time but the WBC champion began applying that pressure to the pedal in the sixth. Here Bam attacked Gonzalez’s body like he was appendicitis in human form. The concentrated attack and increased output began changing the momentum of the fight.

An accidental clash of heads left Jiga with a cut in the seventh. Then in the eighth, Bam was deducted a point for a low blow. Throughout these events, Rodriguez persisted in his painfully accurate punches in bunches. Gonzalez was dropped to the canvas again in the eleventh by another low blow. However, referee Kenny Bayless did not rule it as such. Ultimately the two competitors each dug deep and duked it out to the final bell. Yet, when the cards were read, Bam Rodriguez prevailed to the tune 118-109, 117-110 and 114-113.

In his post-fight interview, Bam was reluctant to say who he was gunning for next but did make it clear that he thought he should win Fighter of the Year.

By: Bakari Simpson

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