By Steve Kim Updated on June 27, 2024

Saturday Night Fight Fever

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There are dueling cards on DAZN and ESPN this Saturday night featuring some recognizable names. But it's clear that the bout between Juan Francisco Estrada and Jesse Rodriguez for the WBC super flyweight title at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona, is the one that has the focus of the hardcore fans of the sport.

Once again the 24 year old Rodriguez (19-0, 12 KOs) finds himself in an important bout. Since the beginning of 2022, 'Bam' has faced Carlos Cuadras, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and most recently Sunny Edwards. During this stretch he has collected belts at 115, and became a unified champion at 112.

Now, he moves back up to super flyweight where he takes on future Hall-of-Famer, Estrada. This match-up figures to be a crowd-pleasing affair between two skilled craftsmen, who are not afraid to get into a good fight. 

Picture for Saturday Night Fight FeverMatchroom Boxing

This is as good a pairing as you'll see on the summer schedule. Estrada is the Ring Magazine champion in the super flyweight division. While Rodriguez(who held the IBF and WBO belts at flyweight) was rated number one in that weight class, before he moved back up.  

Nobody should count out the highly accomplished Estrada (44-3, 28 KOs), who has battled elite competition between 112-115 for the better part of the last decade. But what's that familiar phrase made popular by a particular boxing scribe?

Activity matters, if I recall correctly. And it's troubling that the 34 year old Estrada has not faced live bullets since completing his trilogy against Roman 'Chocolatito' Gonzalez in December of 2022. After winning a hard-fought majority decision versus his arch-rival, he has been dormant for the past 18 months.

When does rest become rust? 

Picture for Saturday Night Fight FeverMatchroom Boxing

Meanwhile, the slashing southpaw from San Antonio, has just steadily sharpened his blade under the tutelage of  Robert Garcia. In Rodriguez's last outing he dismantled the slick Sunny Edwards, stopping him in nine back in December.

MASTERCLASS | Bam Rodriguez vs. Sunny Edwards Fight Highlights


In an era where so many boxers of his age do their most notable work on social media, Rodriguez has just consistently put in solid work. His resume' is as strong as any one in recent years. Now, you could make an argument that this is due in large part to the weight class he's in, and that may be correct. But this is a guy who took on Cuadras with all of six days notice, and hasn't looked back since. 

Picture for Saturday Night Fight FeverDAZN

As you watch him work inside that ring, there's no doubt that he's one of the most skilled craftsmen in the sport. He's a sharp puncher, who sets up openings with adroit spins and pivots. He doesn't just have heavy hands, he has the feet of Fred Astaire. Any pound-for-pound list without his  name on it, is one that can't be taken too seriously.

It says here that he will bolster those credentials with a convincing win on Saturday.

Skills, age, and activity matter.



Meanwhile at the James L. Knight Center in Miami Beach, the Ring Magazine junior welterweight, Teofimo Lopez (20-1, 13 KOs), returns against Steve Claggett (38-7-2, 26 KOs).

The last time we saw Lopez, he was involved in what was a rather dreadful Thursday night affair on Super Bowl week. For 12 rounds he futilely chased the reluctant Jamaine Ortiz, but came away with a somewhat controversial decision. Some believed Ortiz won the fight, but it was so bad, nobody really cared enough to argue the result. They were just glad it finally ended. 

Picture for Saturday Night Fight FeverTop Rank

The most entertaining part of this night at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas was Lopez's post-fight interview with ESPN's Bernardo Osuna:

Teofimo Still Wants Crawford After Retaining Belt Against Ortiz | POST-FIGHT INTERVIEW


Now, he faces Claggett (who is not rated by Ring Magazine) in the hopes of regaining the mojo he had after he put on a dominant performance against Josh Taylor last year. The rugged Canadian is a hard-nosed fighter, but more importantly, one that won't be hard to find. He should provide a very favorable style for Lopez to look good against. 

Hopefully, it will be on to bigger and better things after.



This week on 'the 3 Knockdown Rule', Mario Lopez and I discuss Ryan Garcia's one-year suspension, Rafael Espinoza's recent strong effort, and a preview of this weekend's fights:

Click on the Linktree to subscribe on your preferred podcast platform:

3knockdownrule - Listen on YouTube, Spotify - Linktree




The IBF announced that Oleksandr Usyk has relinquished their heavyweight title. This means that Daniel Dubois, their interim titlist, is now the champion. He will defend the belt versus Anthony Joshua in September....On the Top Rank card in Miami Beach, is the return of Robeisy Ramirez (who in his last outing was upset by the streaking Rafael Espinoza). Also, Elvis Rodriguez, makes his return to Top Rank. Perhaps he will be in play for Lopez later on in '24.... Emiliano Vargas has also been placed on this card....Golden Boy announced that Vaughn Alexander will now face Darius Fulgham on Thursday night at Fantasy Springs Casino. Alexander replaces Ronald Ellis....I can be reached at





About Author
Saturday Night Fight Fever
  • Hosted 'the Main Event' on KIEV 870, and then later XTRA AM1150 ( a three hour show devoted to boxing) from 1996 to 1999.
  • Joined one of the first boxing websites, 'House of Boxing' in 1999, and then later became one of the founders of Maxboxing, that started in 2001, till his departure in 2014.
  • From 2014 to 2018, he was the lead columnist for
  • Was a boxing reporter for from 2018 to 2020.
  • He has written for Ring Magazine, International Boxing Digest and Boxing News.
  • Is the co-host of 'the 3 Knockdown Rule' with Mario Lopez, which has become of the most popular boxing podcasts the past several years.
  • Steve has also served as an announcer and analyst for RingTV, Thompson Boxing, 360 Promotions and CBS Sports Network.