Jesse Rodriguez proves he's a legitimate super flyweight.
Boxing's youngest current world champion returned on Saturday as Jesse Rodriguez put his WBC super flyweight belt on the line against former two-time WBC titlist Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. Even though Rodriguez was a heavy favorite, the question was how would he handle the power from the most dangerous puncher of the 115-pound division?
Rodriguez never had to find out as he used his superb speed and precision to drop Sor Rungvisai twice and stop him at the 1:50 mark of the eighth round to retain the WBC super flyweight title from Tech Port Arena in San Antonio, Texas. DAZN had the fight scored 70-62 at the time of the stoppage.
In the early going, Rodriguez would get in, connect, and by the time Sor Rungvisai would unload, the 22-year-old would already be out of there. The game plan was for Rodriguez to continue to use his quickness and pinpoint accuracy to negate Sor Rungvisai's power.
Rodriguez (16-0, 11 KOs) changed his attack in the fourth round when a right hand almost sent Sor Rungvisai's gloves to the canvas. Instead, "Bam" was more willing to stand in the pocket and trade with Sor Rungvisai as he realized the native of Thailand's power wasn't what he thought it was coming into the fight.
“After the third round, I felt like his power wasn’t the same," Rodriguez said in his post-fight interview with DAZN's Chris Mannix.
"He was still strong, but not like the first two rounds.
“Coming into the fight, I said I couldn’t stand in there like I did with Cuadras, and we came out tonight and put on a show.”
Instead of Sor Rungvisai's power being the deciding factor, it was "Bam" who showed there is a new guard in the land of the super flyweights. During the seventh round, a left hook to the temple sent Sor Rungvisai to the canvas. The 35-year-old tried to convince the referee it was a slip, but the official wasn't buying the excuse.
Rodriguez made sure that Sor Rungvisai wouldn't make it to round nine. He closed the show with an overhand left followed by a barrage of power shots. He kept going until the referee waved it off to successfully defend his title for the first time.
Sor Rungvisai (50-6-1, 43 KOs) was stopped for the first time since June 2009 in his second professional fight. On what's next for Rodriguez, it would appear to be either Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez or WBA (super) Juan Francisco Estrada. However, Estrada is in line to face mandatory challenger and Rodriguez's brother Joshua Franco. Rodriguez says there's no chance of that happening, so a trip down to 112 pounds is more likely for the time being.
“I’m down to do whatever Robert (Garcia, his head trainer) says," Rodriguez said.
"Any champion at 112, I’m here. I’m a special fighter, not an average fighter.
“I grew up watching these guys, so being in the ring with them is a privilege in itself. And beating them the way we’ve been beating them, it means everything.”
Here is what happened at Jesse Rodriguez vs. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.
Rodriguez def. Sor Rungvisai by TKO at 1:50 of the eighth round.
A right hook by Rodriguez to start the eighth. Straight left sends Sor Rungvisai to the ropes. A combination sends Sor Rungvisai back again. Rodriguez closed the show with an overhand left followed by a barrage of power shots. He kept going until the referee waved it off to successfully defend his title for the first time.
Overhand left and an uppercut hurts Sor Rungvisai. A left hook to the temple sends Sor Rungvisai to the canvas. A left from Sor Rungvisai. Straight left down the middle for Rodriguez. An exchange of lefts. Check right hook from Rodriguez. Short right hook by Rodriguez. Body shot from Rodriguez. Another short right hook. A right to the body hurts Sor Rungvisai. (10-8 Rodriguez, 70-62 Rodriguez)
Three consecutive jabs to begin the sixth for Rodriguez. A combination from Rodriguez. Body shot on the inside from Rodriguez. A right and a left by Rodriguez. Clubbing right hand for Sor Rungvisai. Another one-two by Rodriguez. He's dominating Sor Rungvisai like no one has ever done up to this point. (10-9 Rodriguez, 60-54 Rodriguez)
Right hook to start the fifth for Rodriguez. Right to the body for Sor Rungvisai. An exchange of jabs. A right and left stuns Sor Rungvisai. A stinging jab from Rodriguez. A one-two by Rodriguez. Four-punch combination by Rodriguez. Double body shot from Sor Rungvisai. Left hook by Rodriguez at the bell. (10-9 Rodriguez, 50-45 Rodriguez)
Left uppercut by Rodriguez. Glancing left by Rodriguez. Double jab from Rodriguez. A right nearly sends Sor Rungvisai's glove to the mat. Left hand by Sor Rungvisai. Right hand by Rodriguez. Combination by Sor Rungvisai at the end of the round. (10-9 Rodriguez, 40-36 Rodriguez)
Double jab by Rodriguez, but Sor Rungvisai fires a left to the body. A one-two by Rodriguez. An uppercut from Rodriguez. Left hook from Rodriguez. Right hook by Rodriguez. Another combination from Rodriguez. He's cooking right now. (10-9 Rodriguez, 30-27 Rodriguez)
Another check right hook from Rodriguez. Overhand left by Sor Rungvisai. Body shot by Rodriguez. Straight left by Sor Rungivsai. Overhand left by Rodriguez. A combination from Rodriguez. Another combination snaps Sor Rungvisai's head back. Jab jolts Rodriguez's head back. (10-9 Rodriguez, 20-18 Rodriguez)
Neither guy is showing too much in the early going. A battle of jabs with Rodriguez having a slight advantage. Until Sor Rungvisai lands a sharp left down the middle. An exchange of lefts. Stiff jab by Rodriguez followed by a right hand. A check right hand by Rodriguez at the bell. Fun opening round. (10-9 Rodriguez)
It's time for the main event as Jesse Rodriguez (15-0, 10 KOs) defends the WBC super flyweight title against Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (50-5-1, 43 KOs). The time for talking is done. We should get a barnburner.
Stephen Fulton says what he thought of Akhmadaliev's performance
Akhmadaliev def. Rios via TKO at 2:06 of the 12th round to retain the IBF and WBA (super) super bantamweight titles.
Akhmadaliev was up big on the scorecards heading into the final round. He could have coasted and ridden the bicycle. Instead, Akhmadaliev went for the finish and made Rios take a knee with a vicious body shot.
The Akhmadaliev closed the show with a relentless onslaught. That was all the referee needed to see and waved it off.
A championship-level fight by Akhmadaliev. Time to make the undisputed title fight with fellow unified champion Stephen Fulton Jr. There's no one else for either guy to face.
Through eight rounds, Akhmadaliev is in control even though it appears his left hand is hurt. He's winning with the right jab and right hook. Rios needs to apply pressure and offset the right hand, or he will lose the fight.
About a minute into the fourth round, Akhmadaliev landed a thudding body shot that nearly crippled Rios to the canvas. Akhmadaliev continued the attack, but to Rios' toughness, he remained standing, absorbed the punishment, and came back firing.
The champion has won all four rounds thus far. So Rios needs to pick it up and find an opening that hasn't been there yet.
McCaskill came out swinging at the opening bell, trying to put Ibarra away. The method almost proved to b effective as a right hook wobbled Ibarra. Unfortunately for McCaskill, she couldn't get there quick enough to follow up in time.
Right now at Rodriguez vs. Sor Rungvisai, undisputed women's welterweight champion Jessica McCaskill (11-2, 4 KOs) puts her IBF, WBA (super), WBC, and WBO titles on the line against Alma Ibarra (10-1, 5 KOs).
Ford def. Medina via unanimous decision (100-90, 100-90, 99-91).
It cannot get much better than that. Ford answered many questions in this one, as evidenced by the scorecards. His accuracy was on point. He engaged more in the pocket and showed confidence that's been lacking in recent performances.
Ford remains unbeaten in 13 fights (12-0-1, 6 KOs) and is now back on track.