Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez’s breakout 2022 campaign continues with a 115-pound title defense vs. Israel Gonzalez in the chief support bout to Canelo Alvarez-Gennadiy Golovkin 3 on Sept. 17 in Las Vegas, Matchroom Boxing announced Monday.
Rodriguez (16-0 11 KOs) scored the biggest win of his budding career last month with an eight-round TKO of Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. Rungvisai owns wins over future Hall of Famers Roman Gonzalez (“Chocolatito”) and Juan Francisco Estrada, and Bam Rodriguez was able to pick him apart at 22 years old in a star-making performance.
The victory followed a decision win over Carlos Cuadras in February when Rodriguez, who fights out of San Antonio, captured the WBC title. (Estrada is the franchise champion.)
“Having the chance to fight on Mexican Independence Day weekend as the co-main to Canelo-GGG is truly special, and I plan on putting on another spectacular performance and continuing to build my legacy,” said Rodriguez, ESPN’s No. 3 junior bantamweight. “Each fight now is more important than the last. It’s not about just winning; it’s how you win. That’s mine and my coach Robert Garcia’s job now; to look sensational each and every time we step in the ring and continue to show the world that I am one of the best pound-for-pound fighters on the planet.”
Gonzalez, who fights out of Mexico, has lost in each of his world title challenges. He was stopped by Jerwin Ancajas in 2018 and outpointed by Kal Yafai later that year. Most recently, Gonzalez (28-4-1 11 KOs) dropped a unanimous decision to Chocolatito in 2020.
“I want to thank the champ Jesse Rodriguez for the opportunity,” said Gonzalez, 25. “I know I’ll take full advantage of this and make my dream come true of becoming a world champion.”