Bam Rodriguez: My Confidence Is Sky High After Chocolatito Sparring

June 6 2024

‘Bam’ flying high for Estrada battle after getting the best work possible in Gonzalez

Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez says his confidence has soared to new heights after sparring with Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez ahead of his blockbuster clash with WBC World and Ring Magazine Super-Flyweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona on Saturday June 29, live worldwide on DAZN.

Two-weight World ruler Rodriguez (19-0 12 KOs) is looking to reclaim the WBC strap he won in February 2022 by outclassing Carlos Cuadras in Arizona to be crowned World champion for the first time and he defended the crown in stunning fashion four months later with a stoppage win over Srisaket Sor Rungvisai on his San Antonio home patch, knocking over two of the ‘new Four Kings’ of boxing.

‘Bam’ can tick off a third king on June 29 with victory over ‘El Gallo’, and though a showdown with Chocolatito in the future is unlikely with their close ties to Teiken Boxing and Mr Honda, the pair did share the ring, albeit behind closed doors last week in California.

There were no cameras present when Rodriguez and Chocolatito locked horns for eight rounds of elite level sparring, but both Rodriguez and trainer Robert Garcia told media at Tuesday’s media workout at the Matchroom Churchill Boxing Gym in LA that it was ‘pay-per-view worthy’, and following that work with the Nicaraguan, who has shared 36 epic rounds with Estrada, ‘Bam’ has even more confidence in his belief that he’ll have his hand raised in Phoenix once again.

“Chocolatito fought Estrada three times so he’s very familiar with his style, he knows what he does right and wrong,” said Rodriguez. “To share the ring with him was a huge opportunity. We got eight solid rounds in, and each one was fireworks, so my confidence is even higher going into the fight knowing I’ve shared the ring with Chocolatito.

“Chocolatito is a legend, not just of the lower weight classes but just in boxing period, he was on the pound-for-pound list for a very long time, so to share the ring with him was an honor, and it doesn’t get any better than that.

“This isn’t the first fight that I’m being doubted, or people are saying I can’t win. So, it’s just another fight, every day is another day in the gym, and then on June 29 I will show everyone once again that I am the real deal.

“It’s not about him, it’s about what I have inside me and the style I have. I know what I am capable of, so I go into the fight knowing that I feel that no-one can beat me.

“I just know I am ready, whether he was young and active or not, I know I can beat any version of Estrada.

“I’ve been taking tough fights for my last four, five, six fights now, I’ve lost count of them. I’ve been in World title fights since 2022, and I feel like winning this fight in a dominant fashion or even stopping Estrada, it will make people believe. But if it doesn’t, that’s OK, I know what I am accomplishing in the sport and that’s what matters.

“The pressure is on me as the one coming up. Estrada has been around, and people know what he’s done, so it’s up to me to show the world that I am one of the greats in the lower weight classes and the world of boxing as well.

“I’m more motivated than ever and very confident going into this fight, so you can expect the best of me on June 29.”

Rodriguez’s clash with Estrada is part of a stacked night of action in Phoenix, where former World champions Sunny Edwards and Adrian Curiel collide, unbeaten duo Arturo Cardenas and Danny Barrios meet for the WBC Continental Americas Super-Bantamweight title and Yamileth Mercado defends her WBC World Super-Bantamweight title against Ramla Ali.