Boxing Social writers Phil Rogers and Luke G. Williams go head-to-head to debate this weekend’s WBC super-flyweight championship showdown between Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai…
The 22-year-old Rodriguez is a huge betting favourite and also has the advantage of fighting on his home turf of San Antonio, but the Thai southpaw is a proven world-class performer with two victories against the great Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez on his record.
Boxing Social therefore decided to pit ‘Bam’ advocate Phil Rogers against Luke G. Williams in an attempt to discern whether the fight is a foregone conclusion, or whether Srisaket can upset the odds and win the WBC 115lbs title for a third time…
Phil Rogers: I have fanboyed over ‘Bam’ Rodriguez ever since he was a teenager newly signed to Teiken but even I’m surprised to see him reach this level at just 22 years of age.
This is, of course, Bam’s toughest test as a professional, by far. In Srisaket he’s up against a fully-fledged super-flyweight with power in both hands, a granite chin, vast experience and a relentless style. So how can Rodriguez nullify such an opponent?
Bam, in my opinion, possesses the best footwork in the sport right now. Some have compared him to Vasiliy Lomachenko in this regard but I think Salvador Sanchez is a more apt comparison. His fluidity in and out of the pocket, coupled with the angles he creates, makes him a maddeningly difficult target to land anything clean upon, but one who’s always in a position to throw something back. It’s this footwork that will make the difference in this fight.
I see this as a fight of two halves. In the first Bam will be more conservative, making raids in and out of range to disrupt Srisaket from dictating the pace and alternating between that authoritative jab and a venomous screw shot.
But in the second half of the fight I see him taking control, spending longer in the pocket and making use of that excellent low-line head movement and inventive shot selection.
Most seem to be backing Bam to outpoint Srisaket down the stretch but I’m going to be bold and predict a stoppage. The Thai wrecking ball is past his best and has been inactive, while the American is the younger, fresher, fighter with the superior hand speed, footwork, timing, and shot selection, as well as a partisan crowd behind him.
I said back in June 2020 when I interviewed Bam for Boxing Social that he could be the next US star of the lower weights and I think this is that moment for him.
Luke G. Williams: By most sane criteria Bam should win this fight. He’s younger, fresher and formidably talented. As Phil has said, his footwork is excellent, and his temperament also seems sound. Added to this, he’s on home soil on Saturday night and – at 22 – is 13 years fresher and younger than Srisaket.
Let’s also add to the mix the fact Srisaket hasn’t won a fight of significance since 2018, when he bested Juan Francisco Estrada via majority decision. Indeed, the Thai’s six fights since then have been against middling to poor opposition – aside from a rematch against Estrada which he lost unanimously.
Furthermore, Srisaket is 35, an age when little men in boxing don’t traditionally thrive.
Case closed? Perhaps…
But the opposing case is also worth stating.
For starters, the ‘Rat King’ is huge at the 115lbs weight limit and is a massive puncher to boot. True, Carlos Cuadras was beaten soundly by ‘Bam’ but the Mexican still managed to land plenty of clean shots and Srisaket – to my mind – hits much harder than Cuadras. If he lands clean and often he could put the younger and smaller man to sleep.
Yes, rational consideration points to a Rodriguez win on points and a continuing changing of the guard at super fly as the four kings of yesteryear gradually make way for the young guns.
However the oddsmakers have hugely underestimated Srisaket, who is fighting to preserve his whole career here and is a proven world-class performer.
My tip to win is ‘Bam’, but – from a value betting perspective – my money is going on a sensational late stoppage victory for Srisaket in an upset of the year / KO of the year contender.