Jesse Rodriguez believes his hometown crowd will roar him to victory as he bids to become a two-weight World champion when he tackles Cristian Gonzalez for the vacant WBO Flyweight title at the Boeing Center at Tech Port in San Antponio, Texas, live worldwide on DAZN.
Rodriguez (17-0 11 KOs) boxes in his backyard for only the fourth time in his blossoming career, and it’s his second showing in the brand-new arena he lit up in June. ‘Bam’ defended his Super-Flyweight crown against Srisaket Sor Rungvisai on that occasion and was punch-perfect as he stopped the Thai legend in the eighth round, sparking wild celebrations.
The 23 year old came face-to-face with Gonzalez (15-1 5 KOs) at The Alamo in San Antonio to kick-off fight week, and while the #2 ranked Mexican will look to leave it all in the ring in his first World title battle, Rodriguez wants to replicate that magical night against Rungvisai once again.
“Fights in San Antonio are just different for me,” said Rodriguez. “The last one against Rungvisai in San Antonio was electric and exciting, so to get another opportunity to fight for another World title there in front of my fans is amazing.
“San Antonio means everything to me, it’s where I was born and raised, my family and my people are there and whenever I step in the ring, they are with me. I represent San Antonio when I step in the ring, and I am doing this for my city.
“The Rungvisai night was amazing. There was a lot of talk that I was going to get knocked out, that Rungvisai was too much for me, so when I stopped him, it was a moment I will never forget. The emotions were so high, that’s why I just fell to the floor, it was an amazing feeling.
“Gonzalez is ranked #2, he’s tall, he’s lengthy and he likes to move a lot. So, we’ve been working on how I will close the distance and cut off the ring, I’ve been sparring taller guys so on April 8, there’s not going to be a problem for me to go in there and show what we’ve been working on.”
Rodriguez’s clash with Gonzalez tops a stacked card in San Antonio, with more World title action as unified World Super-Bantamweight ruler Murodjon Akhmadaliev puts his WBA and IBF titles on the line against IBF mandatory challenger Marlon Tapales.
Highly ranked Featherweight Raymond Ford is knocking on the door for World title action, and the New Jersey talent defends his WBC Continental Americas title against former World champion Jessie Magdaleno.
Thomas Mattice makes his Matchroom debut after a picking up the WBA Continental Americas Super-Featherweight title on points against Christian Tapia in Cleveland, and the ‘Gunna Man’ defends that belt against undefeated Mexican Ramiro Cesena.
Israil Madrimov is back in ten round action against Raphael Igbokwe in his tenth pro outing, and that’s a number 9-0 Fresno starlet Marc Castro hits over eight rounds against Ricardo Lopez. ‘Big Steppa’ Khalil Coe and Aaron Casper meet in a rematch of their draw in November 2021 while the night is opened by the fourth pro fight of Jesus Martinez’ career against Jose Lopez.