By Steve Kim Updated on September 15, 2022

The Year of Bam

Picture for The Year of Bam

 This Saturday night Jesse 'Bam' Rodriguez will defend his WBC 115-pound title against Israel Gonzalez at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, as a featured performer on the Canelo Alvarez-Gennadiy Golovkin III pay-per-view undercard.

For Rodriguez this will be his third outing of 2022. No, this doesn't make him Archie Moore or Henry Armstrong in terms of activity, but by modern day standards it is eye-opening.

To put this into perspective, nobody in the current Ring Magazine pound-for-pound list (except for Alvarez, who will be fighting for the second time this weekend) has fought more than once. And the majority of them will have no more than two fights by the end of this calendar year.

Picture for The Year of BamEd Mulholland, Matchroom Sports

Most world champion will have no more than two appearances in 2022. That's just the way the modern boxing business works (or doesn't). The 22 year old phenom from San Antonio is grateful for how this year has played out after a very frustrating 2021 campaign.

"I was scheduled for about three or four fights, and I ended up only having one," Rodriguez (16-0, 11 KOs) told earlier this week. "I even had a world title fight fall through. So for this year to bring three fights, at least, it's amazing for my career. I can't be more thankful."

They say fortune favors the bold. That is certainly the case for this multi-skilled southpaw who was slated to fight on February 5 at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona, on the card that was to have seen Carlos Cuadras face Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, who pulled out this event less than a week before the bout was to have taken place. 

Picture for The Year of BamEd Mulholland, Matchroom Sports

Rodriguez was given the opportunity to pinch hit on late notice, and he delivered a solid 12 round effort in winning the vacant WBC super flyweight title. "My life has changed since that day,'' he says.

FIGHT HIGHLIGHTS | Carlos Cuadras vs. Jesse Rodriguez


A few months later, he was lined up versus the tough Thai, and put forth a dominating effort in stopping Sor Rungvisai in seven one-sided rounds in front of a frenzied hometown crowd in San Antonio, Texas. 'Bam' had arrived. 

The young man who had grown up watching the 'Super Fly' series on HBO, has now defeated two of them handily. It's been a surreal experience for him. 

"In the first round I was thinking to myself, 'Damn, I'm really in the ring with Carlos Cuadras, right now,' and it was the same with Rungvisai," explained Rodriguez. "So for me to be in the same position they were in, it was a crazy experience."

Picture for The Year of BamEd Mulholland, Matchroom Sports

After his effort against Rungvisai, Matchroom Sports announced that they had inked Rodriguez to a long-term promotional deal. 

It was just several days after his fight in late June, that his trainer/manager, Robert Garcia, presented him with the chance to land a prime spot on this weeks card. It's one thing to headline your own show, but being on a major card of this nature means that you are playing to a world-wide audience. And given that Rodriguez competes in the lower weight classes, he is a boxer that needs to be showcased often.

This isn't just a fight, but an investment into his career.

"I had just finished a nine week camp, and I would have to start another one. So I was kind of iffy about taking it," Rodriguez admitted. "But that call Robert and I had, it changed my mindset. And I'm glad I took the fight because when it was announced, I saw the hype over it. It's just the perfect opportunity to perform."

After agreeing to this assignment, Rodriguez spent the first four weeks training for this bout in San Antonio, before spending the last month-and-a-half in Riverside, California. He left for Vegas on Tuesday after his last training session at the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy.

There has been some chatter about finishing the year with one more bout, but like a true pro, Rodriguez stated, "There is a possibility but I'm really focused on this fight, right now. So I haven't really talked to anybody about December. 

Picture for The Year of Bam

For Rodriguez, being on a Canelo undercard is a bucket list item. One that can be a great boost to any burgeoning career. 

"It's an amazing opportunity to perform. To show all the casual fans who 'Bam' Rodriguez is and to jut put my name out there even more than it is, right now," he said.

Should 'Bam' finish this year with two more emphatic wins, there's a good chance he could be winning some awards. Something that is important to him.

"I already got the mid-year (fighter of the year), so it's really motivating me to get the 'Fighter of the Year'," he admits. "So come September 17, I really am going to show people I am 'Fighter of the Year'.



So just how many fights have the guys on Ring Magazine's pound-for-pound list had in '22? Here's a look:

1- Oleksandr Usyk (1 fight)

2- Naoya Inoue (1 fight, plus another one scheduled in December)

3- Terence Crawford ( no fights thus far)

4- Errol Spence (1 fight)

5- Canelo (will have two fights by this Saturday)

6- Vasiliy Lomachenko (1 fight scheduled for October)

7- Dmitry Bivol (1 fight, and will face Gilberto Ramirez in November)

8- Josh Taylor (1 fight, may rematch Jack Catterall later this year)

9- Jermell Charlo (1 fight)

10-  Artur Beterbiev (1 fight) 



The DAZN pay-per-view coverage begins at 8 pm, ET/5 pm, PT....Also on this card is a super middleweight battle between Ali Akhmedov and Gabe Rosado, Ammo Williams facing Keiron Conway i a middleweight contest.... On Friday night from Montreal, highly regarded heavyweight Arslanbek Makhmudov takes on Carlos Takam, ESPN+ has coverage of this card....I wouldn't mind a very late start to Canelo-GGG III this weekend given that Miami plays Texas A@M in the prime time game on ESPN.... I can be reached at






About Author
The Year of Bam
  • 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.