Juan Francisco Estrada-Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez 115-Pound Championship Eyed For June 29

Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez is just awaiting word to challenge for the title he left behind at junior bantamweight.

The Ring has confirmed that San Antonio’s Rodriguez is in advanced talks to next face 115-pound champion Juan Francisco ‘El Gallo’ Estrada. The bout is targeted to headline a June 29 DAZN show from Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona.

Rodriguez (19-0, 12 knockouts) long ago signed a blank check for the fight. The two-division and reigning IBF/WBO 112-pound titlist is due to next fight on that date.

Mexico’s Estrada (44-3, 28 KOs) has yet to commit to what would be the fifth defense of his RING 115-pound championship. He was previously in talks for a WBC/WBA unification bout versus Japan’s Kazuto Ioka (31-2-1, 16 KOs), No. 1 at 115. Those talks have reportedly broken off for a second time, which put Estrada-Rodriguez back into play.

The location has hosted each of their previous performances. Rodriguez (19-0, 12 knockouts), No. 1 at 112, unified the IBF/WBO titles with a ninth-round stoppage of England’s Sunny Edwards (20-1, 4 KOs), No. 2 at 112. The battle of unbeaten flyweight titlists will be the last at the weight for Rodriguez.

Prior to the fight, Rodriguez openly declared his intention to return to the 115-pound division. The Ring’s No. 10 pound-for-pound fighter won his first major title at that weight. It came on short notice when he moved up to defeat former WBC titlist Carlos Cuadras in Phoenix, Arizona. The February 2022 win for Rodriguez came with the vacant WBC 115-pound title which he defended twice.

Rodriguez then returned to flyweight, where he won the WBO title last April at home in San Antonio. His 12-round, unanimous decision over Cristian Gonzalez came at a price, however. Rodriguez suffered a broken jaw midway through the bout. He healed in time to deal Edwards his first defeat and take his IBF title last December 16.

Estrada previously served as a unified flyweight titlist. He moved up to 115 in a bid to become a two-division champ.

The effort resulted in a Feb. 2018 defeat to Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in a terrific Ring championship clash. Estrada avenged that defeat with a points win 14 months later atop an April 2019 DAZN show in Inglewood, California.

Injuries and the pandemic have limited his career activity to just five Ring championship defenses. Two have come in wins over the legendary Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez, including their Dec. 2022 rubber match in Glendale. Estrada won via majority decision and also reclaimed the WBC 115-pound title. The belt was left behind by Rodriguez, who was ringside for the fight.

At the time, it wasn’t known that he would next face the winner of that bout. Rodriguez has since fixated on Estrada for his celebrated return to arguably the deepest weight class in the sport.

It’s now up to the division’s king to finalize terms. Once done, the matchup will mark one of the best of an already stand out 2nd quarter schedule.

Jake Donovan a senior writer for The Ring and vice president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Follow @JakeNDaBox



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