There was worry about the opponent Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez was to face for his WBC Super Flyweight title. Sor Rungvisai was a Super Flyweight champ too and a fearsome puncher.
Some people were concerned for Bam, understandably, he is a very young champ and the experience of big fight atmos often counts.
Bam Is Pretty Special
Take a title fight a 5 days notice, come up in weight and take a unanimous decision to win the damn thing?
This is what Bam did against Cuadras earlier this year. That is very special. No prep. Big fight. Winning outcome.
Something We Learned From This Fight
Bam Rodriguez Really Arrived. For any thinking his title win was a one-time deal, though surely there weren’t many, this shows that a new force in the Super Flyweight class has arrived.
Here he was composed, never letting the size of the event, the favorable crowd, or the first defense of the title throw him.
Sor Rungvisai didn’t have much of a chance.
Really? Why Was That?
Movement; Bam stayed out of range. His opponent had power so he got in and out quickly, several times Sor Rungvisai leaned in, swinging wildly on occasion, even getting tagged with a counter as he reached in the 4th round and almost touched down.
‘I started using my angles more. (Trainer) Robert (Garcia) kept reminding me to use my angles, and that’s what I did.’
He was mobile and took control whilst not taking the center of the ring. In the 3rd, Bam moved to the left and used the diagonals to pepper Sor Rungvisai with shots he didn’t appear to see, even turning him around as he tried to stay with the champ.
Shot Selection; the jab. Even though DAZN’s excellent coverage showed us the difference between the power of the two jabs, Bam used his regularly to keep Sor Rungvisai off him, making him think.
The overhand left; was available to Rodriguez all night, his opponent didn’t seem able to pick it up, so why not use it? A lot.
Break The Spirit; one of the most extraordinary elements of this fight was the seemingly dawning feeling for Sor Rungvisai that his opponent was getting through with increasing regularity.
Even the straight left which landed in the 1st round to a seemingly immobile Sor Rungvisai seemed to shock him a little and the turn away when Bam slipped onto the mat in the 5th seemed to scream ‘that’s it’, even if a punch didn’t land, the surprise when he turned round to see the ref admonishing seemingly real.
Sor Rungvisai looked flat by the 7th round and it wasn’t surprising when he shipped some hooks and that usual overhand left which saw him touching down.
The End Was Nigh
Sergio Mora on commentary remarked that he didn’t like Sor Rungvisai’s body language in the next round and when the stoppage came, after a flurry of punches, he looked like he just couldn’t do anything, change anything, make a difference.
That was frightening, poetic, and very watchable; it could almost be said that the man mentally downed tools at that moment.
What A Performance
Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez was sublime on this night. As ESPN reported;
‘Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez delivered a star-making performance.’
He didn’t catch Sor Rungvisai with a lucky shot, he outboxed him and took away his self-belief. That is something not to be overlooked.