Rodriguez vs Gonzalez: Bam Looks To Become A Two-Weight Champion In San Antonio
Two division honours await 23-year-old Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez as he challenges Mexico’s Cristian Gonzalez for the vacant WBO Flyweight title this Saturday, April 8 at the Boeing Center at Tech Port, San Antonio, Texas, USA live and exclusive on DAZN around the world.
Bam Rodriguez (17-0, 11 KOs), one of the two front runners for 2022 fighter of the year alongside Dmitry Bivol, rose to fame last year when he stepped up two weight classes on ten days’ notice to floor and outpoint Mexico’s Carlos Cuadras back in February claiming the vacant WBC world title.
The American then produced a masterful performance against the highly-regarded Srisaket Sor Runvisai becoming the first fighter to stop Rungvisai in 13 years. After extending his promotional deal with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing, Rodriguez returned on a huge platform on the Canelo GGG 3 card where he produced a flat performance but still convincingly beat Israel Gonzalez.
He now drops down a weight division to take on the little-known Cristian Gonzalez (15-1, 5 KOs). Gonzalez lacks a real notable win on his resume with all of his fights coming out of his native Mexico against unrecognisable opposition.
Rodriguez vs Gonzalez Undercard
Rodriguez vs Gonzalez Main Card
In the co-feature, WBA and IBF super bantamweight champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev (11-0, 8 KOs) will defend his titles against mandatory challenger Marlon Tapales (36-3, 19 KOs).
Akhmadaliev last fought on the first Bam Rodriguez San Antonio card in June when he stopped mandatory challenger Ronny Rios in the final round.
Tapales has only suffered one defeat in the last 9 years at the hands of Ryosuke Iwasa in 2019. Since then, he has gone on a 3-fight win streak including a win over Hiroaki Teshigawara in 2021.
Stephen Fulton and Naoya Inoue will take part in one of the most anticipated fights in recent years on July 25 in Tokyo with the Uzbek’s eyes firmly set on facing the winner.
WBA #2 Raymond Ford (13-0, 7 KOs) will face former world champion Jessie Magdaleno (29-1, 18 KOs) in a real pick’em fight at 126.
The 23-year-old unbeaten southpaw will take another step up in competition after a career-best win over Namibia’s Sakaria Lukas last November. Ford impressively dominated Lukas throughout the contest and closed the show with a single right hook, producing a sensational, highlight-reel finish.
Magdaleno dethroned Nonito Donaire to claim the WBO super bantamweight title in 2016. However, he lost the championship in just his second defence via an 11th-round KO at the hands of Isaac Dogboe. Since that fight, Magdaleno has only competed four times in almost five years, below world level.
Ford is quickly heading towards a world title shot due to his #2 ranking with the WBA. The champion, Mauricio Lara, is also promoted by Matchroom as is his May 27 opponent Leigh Wood, Josh Warrington and Kiko Martinez presenting plenty of viable options under the banner.
New Matchroom signing Thomas Mattice (20-3-1 15 KOs) puts his WBA Continental Americas Super-Featherweight title on the line against undefeated Mexican Ramiro Cesena (16-0-1) in the card opener.
Mattice recorded the biggest win of his career to date in his hometown of Cleveland in November, picking up the WBA trinket belt on points against Christian Tapia. That performance landed him a contract with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom.
Undefeated Mexican Cesena (16-0-1) brings a fearsome knockout ratio to the table in his first fight on American soil, and the 23-year-old dubbed ‘Demon’ has devilish plans to derail Mattice’s Matchroom debut.
Rodriguez vs Gonzalez Before The Bell
WBA #1 at 154, Uzbekistan’s Israil Madrimov (8-0-1) is back in ten-round action against Raphael Igbokwe (16-3). Madrimov is awaiting a shot at one of the 154-pound titles expected to be vacated by Jermell Charlo next year. Igbokwe, who was stopped by Serhii Bohachuk in six last time out, is more of a ‘keep busy’ fight for Madrimov.
Amateur star Marc Castro (9-0) takes on Ricardo Lopez (16-6-3) over eight rounds at Lightweight. Castro has looked impressive since his knockdown scare against Julio Madera last year and hopes to finish the year with a title with this likely being his penultimate eight-round contest.
Khalil Coe (4-0-1) meets James Quiter (6-1-1) over six rounds at Light Heavyweight. Coe was supposed to rematch Aaron Casper on this card, who he drew with in 2021, but Quiter has stepped in on late notice.
18-year-old Jesus Martinez (3-0) takes a big step up against Jose Lopez (4-2-1). Lopez has recorded wins over Jose Zamora Soto (11-2) and Robert Rodriguez (10-1-2) in his last two bouts.
Rodriguez vs Gonzalez Ring Walk Time, TV Channel, Start Time
The 8-fight card is scheduled to begin at 10:00 pm BST (5 pm ET, 2 pm PT) on the Matchroom Boxing and DAZN Boxing YouTube channels with the main card a couple of hours later at 1 am BST (8 pm ET, 5 pm PT) on DAZN.
Main Event Ring Walks will take place at approximately 4 am BST (11 pm ET, 8 pm PT). Tickets for the event, starting at $25, are still available.
Rodriguez vs Gonzalez Running Order, Weights
First bell: 4.15pm CST – live on Before The Bell on DAZN and Matchroom’s YouTube channel
4 x 3 mins Bantamweight contest
Jesus Martinez (119.4lbs) vs. Jose Lopez (118.4lbs)
DelRio, Texas Ridgewood, New York
6 x 3 mins Light-Heavyweight contest
Khalil Coe (175.8lbs) vs. James Quiter (174.8lbs)
Jersey City, New Jersey Oak Park, Illinois
8 x 3 mins Lightweight contest
Marc Castro (133lbs) vs. Ricardo Lopez (133.6lbs)
Fresno, California Tijuana, Mexico
10 x 3 mins Super-Welterweight contest
Israil Madrimov (158.8lbs) vs. Raphael Igbokwe (160lbs)
Chiva, Uzbekistan Houston, Texas
Live on DAZN from 7pm CST
10 x 3 mins WBC Continental Americas Super-Featherweight title
Thomas Mattice (129lbs) vs. Ramiro Cesena (130lbs)
Cleveland, Ohio Baja California, Mexico
10 x 3 mins WBA Continental Americas Featherweight title
Raymond Ford (126lbs) vs. Jessie Magdaleno (126lbs)
Camden, New Jersey Las Vegas, Nevada
12 x 3 mins WBA and IBF World Super-Bantamweight titles
Murodjon Akhmadaliev (121.6lbs) vs. Marlon Tapales (121.8lbs)
Chust, Uzbekistan Lanao del Norte, Philippines
12 x 3 mins Vacant WBO World Flyweight title
Jesse Rodriguez (111.4lbs) vs. Cristian Gonzalez (112lbs)
San Antonio, Texas Tultitlan, Mexico
Jesse Rodriguez vs Cristian Gonzalez – WBO World Flyweight Title – Sat April 8– Tech Port, San Antonio, Texas, USA – Live On DAZN