Jesse Rodriguez Vs. Srisaket Sor Rungisai Set For June 25th Showdown
By: Hans Themistode
Jesse Rodriguez believed that slow and steady was the appropriate way to go about his career. Nevertheless, the former flyweight contender saw an opportunity too good to pass up.
With Srisaket Sor Rungisai forced to withdraw from his February 5th ring appearance due to illness, Rodriguez brazenly accepted a short notice opportunity against Carlos Cuadras for the vacant super flyweight title. Although the 22-year-old was initially taken aback by the offer, he eagerly accepted. As a result, Rodriguez made oddsmakers eat their words as he went on to dominate the former champion.
Following his victory, Rodriguez appeared unsure about his immediate future. While he thoroughly enjoyed being labeled as a world champion, Rodriguez expressed a desire to return to the flyweight division. After pondering his next move, however, Rodriguez has officially decided to retain his world title and continue his career as a full-fledged super flyweight. For the first defense of his newly won title, Rodriguez will take on the man who lost his original opportunity.
On June 25th, at the Tech Port Arena in San Antonio, Rodriguez and Rungvisai will battle in the main event. Considering the former multiple-time champion’s extensive resume, Rodriguez is well aware of the dangers Rungvisai presents. However, while he might be viewed as his stiffest test, Rodriguez is chomping at the bit.
“Fighting a guy like Rungvisai is going to bring me to a whole new level,” said Rodriguez. “He’s a great fighter but this is my time now. You have to take risks in this sport, that’s what special fighters do. They said it was a risk me challenging for a World title fight on short notice and now they say it’s a risk-taking on a fighter like Rungvisai but this is what I want. These are the types of fights you need so you can be remembered by the fans long after your career is done.”
Unsurprisingly, Rungvisai joined Rodriguez in his excitement. Prior to being forced to withdraw from his showdown against Cuadras, Rungvisai was the winner of three consecutive bouts, two of which came via stoppage. Ultimately, the end goal for the Thailand product is not only to reign once more as super flyweight champion but to forever etch his name in the history books.
“I am very excited for this opportunity to fight for the WBC World title,” said Rungvisai. “I will be at my best to win the WBC World title and become the first three times WBC World champion in the history of Thailand. Thank you so much to Matchroom, DAZN, and the WBC for this opportunity.”
Srisaket Sor Rungvisai Falls Ill (Non COVID-19 Related), Jesse Rodriguez Steps In To Face Carlos Cuadras For Vacant WBC Title
By: Hans Themistode
This weekend’s February 5th, card from Phoenix Arizona has been an injury-hit one.
Originally, the main event was set to feature two former titlists in Jessie Vargas and Liam Williams square off in a junior middleweight bout. However, their explosive meeting was ultimately postponed due to Vargas testing positive for COVID-19.
With the main event in ruins, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and Carlos Cuadras, who were scheduled to meet in the co-main, were pushed to the headliner. The two super flyweight contenders have shared a long history with one another. In addition to being former champions and amongst the best in their weight class, the two once clashed in 2014. Although their contest was ultimately close, Cuadras managed to land the fight-ending blow in the eighth.
While Rungvisai was prepared to rekindle their rivalry, he was ultimately forced to withdraw due to illness, not related to COVID-19.
In an effort to replace him and keep the card alive, Jesse Rodriguez, who was already making an appearance on the undercard, has been chosen to replace Rungvisai.
For the 22-year-old, he’ll be taking both a step up in opposition and weight, as he currently campaigns one weight class below in the flyweight division. Regardless of the difference in weight, Rodriguez could find himself fast-tracked to his world title dreams as his newly scheduled contest against Cuadras will be for the vacant WBC super flyweight crown.
What’s Next For Roman Gonzalez?
In the blink of an eye, former pound-for-pound star Roman Gonzalez was dismissed, discarded and cast aside.
Back to back losses at the hands of Wisakil Wangek in 2017 and 2018 provided the narrative that Gonzalez was no longer a top fighter, let alone a true title contender. Coming into his contest against WBA Super Flyweight champion Khalid Yafai, at The Ford Center at the Star in Frisco Texas, Gonzalez was giving little to no shot at winning that bout. He was simply there to lose and prop up the status of the current champion.
Yet, when the opening bell rang, it turned out to be anything but that. Gonzalez routed Yafai over eight rounds before ultimately stopping him. Now that the future hall of famer has become a champion once again, who should he take on next?
The title reign of IBF Super Flyweight champion Jerwin Ancaja has been underwhelming to say the least. When the Philippine born Ancajas (32-1-2, 22 KOs) first burst onto the scene, he was viewed as the next Manny Pacquiao. He hasn’t exactly lived up to the hype, but he is no means a bad fighter. He just hasn’t been given the chance to show what he can do on the big stage.
Gonzalez has already gone on record stating that he wants to unify titles, so a contest between the two would make sense at this point.
Juan Francisco Estrada
Juan Francisco Estrada (40-3, 27 KOs) has always been considered an elite fighter. He has suffered a few bumps on the road to other elite fighters, but he has always remained in the mix. With both Estrada and Roman Gonzalez not only campaigning in the same division but also holding world titles, a contest between them seems all but inevitable.
It wasn’t that long ago that both men shared the ring. Back in 2012 Gonzalez managed to squeak by Estrada via unanimous decision. Now however, with Estrada right in the middle of his prime and Gonzalez believed to be at the tail end of his, a rematch between them could play out much differently.
Wisaksil Wangek (47-5-1, 41 KOs) may have two wins under his belt against Gonzalez, but many believe that they still have unfinished business.
When the two first met back in early 2017, no one believed it was going to be much of a contest. Gonzalez was simply expected to run right through his man. And truth be told, he did. Yet, the judges believed otherwise as Wangek was given the victory. In the immediate rematch Gonzalez was handed a devastating knockout loss. Technically it’s 2-0 on the scoreboard in favor of Wangek, but many believe that it should be 1-1. To officially put this rivalry to bed, they need to meet in the ring at least one more time.
Estrada Bests Sor Rungvisai in Rematch at the Forum
By: Sean Crose
Jessie Vargas stepped into the ring at the Forum in Inglewood, California Friday night to face the veteran Humberto Soto in a junior middleweight bout scheduled for ten rounds. Soto, 69-9-2, came on strong from the opening bell. Vargas, 28-2-2, appeared ready to face his man head on. Soto went down from what was ruled a low blow towards the end of the first. Vargas found himself cut in the second. Soto, who was last seen besting Brandon Rios, was able to land effectively. The third saw good action in what was becoming an entertaining affair.
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account
The high octane pace continued through the fourth. The same could be said for the fifth. “Speed and power,” Vargas trainer Freddie Roach told his man before the start of the sixth. Vargas clearly heeded the advice, for he dropped Soto with a right in the sixth. Soto beat the count, but Vargas continued to pile on the shots, so much so that the referee wisely stepped in and stopped the bout.
The following match saw the 21-0 IBF junior featherweight titlist TJ Doheny face off against the 26-2-1 WBA super bantamweight champion Danny Roman in a scheduled twelve round affair. The first round proved to be something of a feeling out process for both fighters. After pursuing his man for the better portion of the round, Roman was able to drop his man in the second. Doheny was able to get up and regain his composure. The third saw Roman able to dominate the tempo, albeit slightly. Doheny came alive at the end of the fourth, landing cleanly. Roman, however, continued to attack in the fifth. By the midpoint of the fight, Doheny’s face was showing the effects of swelling, but he remained competitive.
Doheny hurt and consistently unloaded on his man in the seventh. Roman went down, though it was ruled a toss down, then got up and fought back hard. Still, the round belonged to a very aggressive Doheny. Roman may have managed to win the eighth. The two men exchanged furiously in the ninth. Doheny looked completely battered in the 10th.
A thunderous body shot took Doheny down in the 11th. Doheny got up, but the fight should have been stopped by the man’s corner. Still, there was no denying Doheny’s courage. His grit was magnificent. The twelfth was, like the rest of the fight, very close. It was a magnificent match. Roman walked away with the majority decision win. Two of the scores were needlessly wide – but the win for Roman was well deserved.
It was time for the main event. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, 47-4-1, stepped into the ring to defend his WBC junior bantamweight title against the 38-3 Juan Francisco Estrada in a rematch of their highly – and deservedly – lauded 2018 match. Sor Rungvisai earned the decision nod after the first bout. Now, in the exact same arena, Estrada was getting a second chance.
A highly aggressive Estrada took the first. Estrada continued his aggression in the second – but Sor Rungvisai started coming alive, as well. The third saw Estrada continue to make the bout a high energy scrap. In the fourth, Sor Rungvisai, perhaps tired of getting landed on by his foe, switched to the southpaw stance. Estrada landed cleanly and regularly with straight shots in the fifth. By the end of the sixth, it was clear that Estrada had a plan and was executing it to near perfection. It was as simple as that.
The seventh saw Estrada continue to dominate. By the eighth, the fight had essentially settled into a pattern, with Sor Rungvisia looking outgunned while Estrada carried out an energetic, disciplined performance. In the ninth, Estrada continued to showcase his sharp shooting skills. Sor Rungvisai came alive in the tenth. Estrada went down from an accidental low blow. Things got quite exciting and competitive in the eleventh. The twelfth was close, but it certainly seemed like Estrada had a decision in the bag…which he did. All three judges ruled in his favor, giving Estrada the WBC junior bantamweight belt.