INSIDE THE RING: Rodriguez looks for another win in Las Vegas

San Antonio’s own “Bam” Rodriguez can go undefeated in 2020 with a win Saturday.

Jesse "Bam" Rodriguez wins his fourth straight fight by TKO on Saturday in Las Vegas.
Jesse "Bam" Rodriguez wins his fourth straight fight by TKO on Saturday in Las Vegas. (Copyright 2020 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

SAN ANTONIO – Some people leave Las Vegas winners.

Others return home losing more than they want to admit.

For Jesse Rodriguez, Sin City has only awarded the 20-year-old boxer with victory.

On Saturday, “Bam” Rodriguez (12-0, 8 KOs) will face Mexico’s Saul Juarez (25-12-2, 13 KOs) in a junior flyweight bout at “The Bubble” in the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The fight is on the undercard of ESPN’s Shakur Stevenson vs. Toka Khan Clary junior lightweight main event.

Rodriguez, who left for Las Vegas today, has been training for this fight since late September because his third fight of the year had been canceled twice before. Rodriguez has won both of his fights in 2020 while his upcoming opponent has lost four of his last five fights.

“Ending this year 3-0 would be something really good for my career,” Rodriguez said to KSAT 12 Sports last week. “I usually only fight once or twice a year. I’m tired of the training already but I’ve been going with the flow.”

“Bam” turned pro in early 2017 and has recently broke out on the boxing scene, thanks in part to the ESPN broadcast of his first fight in Las Vegas. His latest win over Janiel RIvera in September extended his knockout streak to four. You can read more about that win here.

Rodriguez is the younger brother of San Antonio’s world champ Joshua Franco. They are often seen together training in the gym and at each other’s fights, including the recent Franco vs. Moloney rematch.

No-Contest and Aftermath

A lot of people in the boxing world were really looking forward to the rematch between Joshua Franco and Andrew Moloney. Their second fight in November ended in a no-contest after an accidental clash that caused Franco’s right eye to swell shut.

After a lengthy review that only added to the drama, Franco left the ring still the title holder while Moloney felt he was cheated. That’s when things escalated as Franco’s team and Moloney were caught on camera yelling at each other prior to a live ESPN interview.

“Honestly, I don’t even know how it started, I just know it got heated after the fight,” explained Rodriguez. “I was minding my business, I was there supporting my brother. I wasn’t looking for any trouble. My brother is kind of frustrated how it ended but it’s boxing, stuff like that happens all the time. You can’t let it bring you down.”

In regards to the latest talk about a possible trilogy between Franco and Moloney, Rodriguez added, “The third fight is definitely going to happen and I believe my brother is going to stop him this time, possibly knock him out.”

On Thursday, the World Boxing Association ordered an immediate rematch between Franco and Moloney. Both teams will have 30 days to finalize the terms of this third fight. Moloney’s team is pushing for this trilogy to be held in his home country of Australia early next year.

Success Brings Opportunities

Every win brings an opportunity. Opportunities bring more chances to be recognized. With the success of social media, those opportunities can showcase your skills to people all over the world.

Case in point, a recent post on YouTube highlights “Bam’s” abilities and what fighters can expect from him in 2021 and beyond.

“In 2021, I’m definitely going to get a world title,” said Rodriguez. “It’s already in the talks to get a world title. Once I get through this guy, go on to next year for my world title.”

Should “Bam” come out with the victory on Saturday, you can catch him at Pluckers Wing Bar, his favorite post-fight hangout.

But he’ll have to wait to eat those wings when he returns home since there are no Pluckers locations in Nevada.

Daniel P. Villanueva has worked with KSAT 12 Sports for over 17 years and is an award-winning sports producer. To submit story ideas, email dvillanueva@ksat.com


About the Author:

Daniel P. Villanueva has been with KSAT 12 since 2003 and is the producer of our weekly sports show, "Instant Replay." Villanueva is a graduate of St. Mary's University and is a TAPB and Lone Star Emmy award winner.