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Jesse Rodriguez Franco vs Srisaket Sor Rungvisai fight preview

Bam vs. Rat King

By James Blears

Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez Franco (15-0, 10KO)still just 22-years-old and the youngest world champion right now, defends his WBC super- flyweight title against 35-year-old gnarled warhorse Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (50-5-1, 43KO) at the Tech Port Arena, San Antonio, Texas on June 25th in an exacting test of boxing skills and sheer firepower.

How to watch in the UK: DAZN from 1am BST (Sunday morning).

San Antonio southpaw Jesse stepped up for the challenge of fighting former champion Carlos Cuadras for the vacant title on just five days of notice, after Thailand’s Srisaket went down with an illness and had to pull out. The Texan youngster was meant to have fought Fernando Diaz on the undercard in a flyweight bout, so he also had to gain an extra slither of weight to compete. It was a huge risk because “The Prince”, also known as “The Medicine Man,” is so much more experienced. Too much too soon? Nope!

The young prodigiously gifted prospect rose to the occasion and was a veritable thorn on the side of 45-fight veteran Cuadras. He lived up to his moniker from him and dropped Carlos in round three with a wicked right uppercut and fought with the skill of a marksman to win via UD in a fierce, all action attraction. A phenomenal performance. And yet another family triumph, because his older brother Joshua “Professor” Franco is WBA super-flyweight champion.

In the amateur sphere, Jesse won two US National Youth Championships, the US Junior Open Tournament, and a silver medal in the Junior World Championships. And he has flourished as a pro. In a super fly bout against one time light flyweight challenger Janiel Rivera, he swiftly dispatched the Puerto Rican in round one with two knockdowns both times with blockbuster left hooks, to end the show at 2:03.

Then more power and precision to blast out Jose Alejandro Burgos in round four. Hands held high in a tight guard, Jesse slipped, parried and evaded punches, stepping around his opponent, pivoting and felling Jose with a left counter and moments later after he got up, putting him back from whence he came with another thunderous left.

The young southpaw, who’s accomplished far beyond his callow years would suggest, has everything. He’s the complete article. Ring generalship, excellent footwork sound defense, extraordinary power in both hands, particularly his signature left hook, and intelligently applied strategy. He can box, he can fight, and he has cunning anticipation, lightning reflexes plus guile. All of which he is going to need against the chilling power punching Thai, who’s on a seek and destroy mission to win the title for the third time. Most likely, his last chance for him for the ultimate glittering Green and Gold Prize. With half a century of wins under his belt, he is a formidable opponent and a huge scalp for any fighter in the world to claim, if they can. Wisaksil Wangek has almost tripled the amount of knockouts on his record to Rodriguez’s fights.

Thus far, Jesse, who’s pro debut was in 2017, has fought just 15 times involving 62 rounds. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, 13 years his senior aged 35, who’s pro debut stretches all the way back to 2009, has fought 56 ​​over 237 rounds. Freshness versus a veritable wealth of experience.

Few fighters have a comfortable cosseted upbringing, or else they’d been playing tennis, polo, croquet or golf. That’s why they opt for boxing, which is not a play sport. Srisaket, is the epitome of a hungry fighter. As Gilbert and Sullivan composed: “The very model of a modern major general.” Originally from the Sisaket Province of Thailand, aged just 13 he hitched a ride to the Capital Bangkok. A series of meager breadline, bread winner jobs culminating in becoming a refuse collector at a swanky department store, but no meal vouchers, nor meal ticket. He had to supplement his scant diet and fill a flat iron belly with scraps from the garbage. To this day, his favorite meal is fried rat, but the countryside not town variety. Hence, his nickname of Rat King.

No amateur experience to speak of, he lost his first two pro fights, but was a quick learner by necessity and showed rapid improvement. Rat like cunning… so to speak! He started from a conventional stance, but then became a southpaw to utilize and exploit his granite hewn left. At top level, two of his opponents of him are illustrative of how Srisaket Sor Rungvisai fights, and how he can be fought. Namely Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez and Juan Francisco “Gallo” Estrada.

There is nothing that Srisaket Sor Rungvisai likes more than an opponent standing right in front of him, attempting to get into the pocket and fight toe to toe. It’s tailor made and ideal for him to unleash his avalanche of formidable power with his fast hands. He’s slower on his feet than some, so short range fulfills all of his requirements from him.

He won the title for the first time with a slugfest KO of Yota Sato, but lost it to Carlos Cuadras. A clash of heads in round eight opened a huge gash over Carlos’ left eye, the action was halted and when the early scores were read out, Srisaket had lost a UD.

He won the title back again by in a war against Chocolatito. A Left to the body put Chocolatito down in the first. The Nicaraguan re-grouped and fought back with venom, although cut above both eyes from head clashes. The tremendous Thai won a MD. Their rematch was a totally different story. Srisaket trained for four months flat out with but one aim… to KO Chocolatito! This he did in a tempestuous round four. A huge left hook dropped Chocolatito, he got up on unsteady legs and Srisaket ruthlessly applied the finishing touches, culminating with monumental right.

Next up was Juan Francisco Estrada, who was coming to this division and not yet in his prime. Srisaket was relentless, crowding him and applying unrelenting pressure. Juan Francisco gave a good account of himself, but he committed the fundamental error of fighting rather than boxing. A grandstand finish from the Mexican who realized he`d have to KO the teak tough Thai to win. Alas, too little, too late. Srisaket retained his title with a deserved majority decision.

Fight two was altogether a very different kettle of fish. Scalded first time around, by almost flying into the face of a cat on a hot tin roof, “Gallo” took appreciably more care not to get his feathers ruffled. I have avoided being cornered or backed up on to the ropes. Preening himself with a supreme performance, he used his jab from him to its fullest, blunting and neutralizing the Thai’s ferocious onslaught power. Juan employed speed and precision, inflicting and then elusively, laterally and literally moving away, to avoid incoming retaliation. It was a boxing master class of genius! Jesse would do well to learn from this effective strategy, as standing and trading with Srisaket Sor Rungvisai would play into his hands from him and provide a highly risky ploy. Others have tried it and have come to grief.

For Jesse, this will be a significantly different fight than that he fought against Carlos Cuadras, who was nimble and versatile. Srisaket is aging and a step slower, but he’s still by far the hardest puncher in the division. A stone faced man who’s driven, inflicting full throttle attack. Jesse will be fighting the fight of his life from him. It will test him as he’s never been tested before. It’s make or break time!

Albert Einstein observed: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” So, who will be the problem solver in this fight? Career wise, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai is approaching the beginning of the end. While Jesse Rodriguez is hardly at the end of the beginning. Yet both want and yearn after the same thing, so neither should be underestimated.

Code breaker, and computer pioneer Alan Turing, who solved the riddle of Enigma, shortening World War Two by at least a couple of years said: “We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty that needs to be done. The following syllogism may be used, some time in the future.

WBC Super Flyweight Stats

This will be the WBC’s 2,144th championship fight in their 59-year history

25 World super-flyweight champions recognized by WBC, of ​​which six have regained their title: Rafael Orono / Gilberto Roman / Masamori Tokuyama / Vic Darchinyan / Tomas Rojas / Srisaket Sor Rungvisai

124 WBC super-flyweight world title fights have been held over 10 different countries

21 WBC super-flyweight world title fights have been held in the United States

76 WBC world title fights have been held in Texas

3 WBC super-flyweight world title fights have been held in Texas

Tale of the Tape

JESSE RODRIGUEZ
(US)
WBC CHAMPION

Nationality: USA
Date of Birth: January 20, 2000
Birthplace: San Antonio, Texas
Residence: San Antonio, Texas
Age: 22
Aliases: Bam
Record: 15-0-0, 10KOs
KO Rate: 66.7%
Guard: South Paw
Total rounds: 62
World Title fights: 1 (1-0-0)
Manager: Robert Garcia
Promoter: TGB Promotions

SRISAKET SOR RUNGVISAI
(THAILAND)
WBC#2

Nationality: Thailand
Date of Birth: December 8, 1986
Birthplace: Si Sa Ket, Thailand
Residence: Si Sa Ket, Thailand
Age: 36
Real name: Wisaksil Wangek
Record: 50-5-1, 43KO
KO Rate: 76.87%
Guard: South Paw
Total rounds: 237
World Title fights: 8 (6-2-0)
Manager: Thainchai Pisitwuttinan
Promoter: Nakornloung Promotions / Matchroom Boxing

WBC Super Flyweight Champions

RAFAEL ORONO 1980 – 1981

CHULHO KIM 1981 – 1982

RAFAEL ORONO* 1982 – 1983

PAYAO POOLTARAT 1983 – 1984

JIRO WATANABE 1984 – 1986

GILBERTO ROMAN 1986 – 1987

SAINTS LACIAR 1987

JOSE BEBIS ROJAS 1987 – 1988

GILBERTO ROMAN* 1988 – 1989

NANA KONADU 1989 – 1990

SUNGKIL MOON 1990 – 1993

JOSE LUIS BUENO 1993 – 19943

HIROSHI KAWASHIMA 1994 – 1997

GERRY PEÑALOSA 1997 – 1998

INJOO CHO 1998 – 2000

MASAMORI TOKUYAMA 2000 – 2004

KATSUSHIGE KAWASHIMA 2004 – 2005

MASAMORI TOKUYAMA* 2005 – 2006

CHRISTIAN MIJARES 2006 – 2008

VIC DARCHYNIAN 2008 – 2010

INTERIM RED SHOTS 2009

VIC DARCHYNIAN* 2009 – 2010

RED SHOTS* 2010 – 2011

SURIYAN FOR CHOCKCHAI 2011 – 2012

YOTA SATO 2012 – 2013

SRISAKET SOR RUNGVISAI 2013 – 2014

CARLOS SQUARES 2014 – 2016

ROMAN GONZALEZ 2016 – 2017

SRISAKET SOR RUNGVISAI* 2017 – 2019

JUAN FRANCISCO ESTRADA 2019 – 2021

JESSE RODRIGUEZ (US) 2022 – Present

*regained

WBC Super Flyweight Top 10 Champions

GILBERTO ROMAN (MEXICO)

SANTOS LACIAR (ARGENTINA)

JIRO WATANABE (JAPAN)

CHULHO KIM (KOREA)

CHRISTIAN MIJARES (MEXICO)

GERRY PEÑALOSA (PHILIPPINES)

SUNGKIL MOON (KOREA)

RAFAEL ORONO (VENEZUELA)

CARLOS SQUARES (MEXICO)

JOSE LUIS BUENO (MEXICO)

WBC World Super-flyweight Fights by Country

JAPAN: 37

KOREA: 24

USA: 21

MEXICO: 17

THAILAND: 9

VENEZUELA: 8

FRANCE: 3

PHILIPPINES: 2

ARGENTINA: 2

SPAIN : 1

TOTAL: 124

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