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Two-division world champion Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez (19-0, 12 KOs) is a fighter that’s rapidly on the ascend. The 24-year-old is one of the best young fighters in the sport. Would a win over Juan Francisco “Gallo” Estrada (44-3, 28 KOs) elevate Rodriguez to boxing stardom?

Word on the street is that Bam and Estrada are negotiating to fight each other for Estrada’s WBC junior bantamweight strap. According to ESPN, talks are progressing, with the fight targeted for June or July in Phoenix, Arizona.

A LONG TIME IN THE MAKING

The camp of Rodriguez has envisioned fighting Estrada since February 2022, when Bam captured his first sworld title, the WBC junior bantamweight crown. But fights like this take time to cultivate, and Rodriguez had wanted to become a two-division champion.

He achieved that goal in April 2023 with a unanimous decision over Cristian Hernandez to win the WBO flyweight title. In his last outing, Bam became the unified flyweight champion with a thrilling eleventh-round stoppage over Sunny Edwards in December 2023. Rodriguez is now in hot pursuit of a fight with Estrada.

Gallo hasn’t fought since winning his trilogy win against Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez in December 2022. At age 33, he’s getting up there in age. But Estrada is a future Hall of Famer and has been one of the elite fighters in the lower-weight divisions for the past decade.

WHAT WOULD BE ON THE LINE

The last few times that a Mexican-American fighter in that weight area gained widespread mainstream appeal were former unified junior flyweight champion Michael Carbajal and multi-divisional world champion Johnny Tapia in the 1990s.

Rodriguez’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, believes that Bam is a generational talent. They feel a statement-making win over someone of Estrada’s pedigree would move Rodriguez one step closer to pay-per-view status and becoming one of the preeminent entities of the sport.

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About Mike W.1959 Articles
Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for 3kingsboxing.com.