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Jesse Rodriguez Emerges As Boxing’s Rising Star In Marquee Victory‌

Repeat junior bantamweight champion Rodriguez's impressive win propels him to pound-for-pound rankings and global recognition.‌
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What became clear on Saturday night is that boxing has found a new marquee fighter in Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez, the repeat junior bantamweight champion. He smiled through a knockdown and then made his veteran-champion opponent suffer with a devastating finishing body shot.

 “He has the mindset of a fighter. He wants all the smoke. This kid’s going to be around for a long time. I’m closing my eyes and thinking about when Bam Rodriguez will be the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world, which will be in a couple years. He’s got the footwork, the defence, the chin and heart. He hits the head and body,” said analyst Chris Algieri in media reports.

Despite high praise, lighter-weight fighters have struggled to capture America’s attention due to the prominence of heavyweights and the impressive reigns of middleweight and welterweight fighters.

However, San Antonio’s former flyweight champion Rodriguez (20-0, 13 KOs) now joins Japan’s 122-pound undisputed champion Naoya Inoue in the top five of the mythical pound-for-pound rankings. This achievement opens a world of opportunities for Rodriguez, from Saudi Arabia to Japan, to conquer and further elevate his profile.

“He’s done well and he’s 24. Bam is not interested in meaningless fights. That’s always going to help the numbers. What we’re doing is consistently building the numbers with the crowds [near 10,000 in Phoenix]. We’ll continue to build that. The atmosphere was incredible, and I think his stock will continue to grow. Yes, he’s in a smaller weight class, but that’s why I ask for the respect that he be included among the names of [heavyweight champion Oleksandr] Usyk and two-time undisputed champions [Terence] Crawford and Inoue. [Rodriguez] fits that mold. This is just the beginning,” added promoter Eddie Hearn about Rodriguez to the press.

                  Although Estrada has the contractual right to request an immediate rematch with Rodriguez—and he expressed his intention to do so after the fight—Rodriguez is more interested in facing the winner of this weekend’s junior bantamweight unification bout between Kazuto Ioka and Fernando Martinez in Japan.

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