Jesse 'Bam' Rodriguez dominates, stops Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in eight rounds

Jesse "Bam" Rodriguez lived up to his moniker.

The 22-year-old solidified his star status with an eighth-round stoppage of Srisaket Sor Rungvisai on Saturday at Tech Port Arena in San Antonio to retain his WBC junior bantamweight title.

Rodriguez (16-0, 11 KOs) scored a knockdown in round seven after connecting with a strong left hand that forced Rungvisai to touch the canvas with both gloves. The former flyweight contender then stepped on the gas pedal and pounded away at Rungvisai, as the former champion took a beating against the ropes. Referee Mark Calo-oy stopped the bout at 1:50 of the round after Rungvisai failed to answer back.

"This is the youngest champ in boxing and he already might be a pound-for-pound great," said Rodriguez's promoter, Eddie Hearn. "He's here for legacy; he's here to be remembered."

It was a scintillating display from Rodriguez, who headlined in his hometown for the first time as a pro.

According to Compubox, Rodriguez landed 233 of 431 punches, a dazzling 54 percent connect rate. Rungvisai landed just 84 of 440 punches (19 percent).

It was a one-sided beatdown from start to finish by Rodriguez, who used a superb southpaw jab, superior footwork, and angles to keep Rungvisai guessing, and incorrectly for a majority of the action.

It was a dazzling display from the 22-year-old Rodriguez, who headlined in his hometown for the first time. He used an excellent southpaw jab, beautiful footwork and plenty of angles to keep Rungvisai off-rhythm and at the end of his power shots.

Rungvisai (50-6-1, 43 KOs), who holds victories over future Hall of Famers Juan Francisco Estrada and Roman Gonzalez, was far from the fighter who scored those upset victories. Perhaps his best days are behind him, but nonetheless, Rodriguez's style was a bad matchup for the 35-year-old Thai, who couldn't set up his power shots. But that was all a part of the game plan for Rodriguez: be a constantly moving target, and don't allow Rungvisai to set his feet.

"In the third round I felt his power wasn't the same," said Rodriguez. "That's when I decided to take over. Having Robert Garcia in my corner is a huge advantage."

Rodriguez, whose brother, Joshua Franco, holds a secondary title at 115 pounds, said he is pondering a return to 112 pounds.

Rungvisai saw a three-bout winning streak snapped. He lost for the first time since an April 2019 unanimous decision defeat to Estrada in a rematch in Inglewood.

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