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Bam Rodriguez vs Srisaket Sor Rungvisai

Boxing fans who tune into DAZN on June 25 can expect their money’s worth and more as recently crowned WBC super-flyweight champion Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez (15-0, 10 KOs) defends against Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (50-5-1, 43 KOs), his mandatory challenger. The card will take place at the Tech Port Arena in San Antonio, Texas and will feature three other world title fights, as well as bouts involving promising young prospects.

The main event pits a young and incredibly talented fighter in Rodriguez against hard-hitting former champion Rungvisai. Rodriguez will have a height and reach advantage but lacks the seasoning that Rungvisai possesses at super-flyweight. In his previous fight, Rodriguez knocked down and outboxed an experienced former champion in Carlos Cuadras over 12 rounds to claim his first world title. Although inexperienced at the weight class, Rodriguez showed that he has the skills to compete with top fighters at super-flyweight. Against Rungvisai, however, he will have to deal with a fighter who hits much harder than Cuadras. Rodriguez’s key to victory will be to use to his movement and outbox Rungvisai over 12 rounds, perhaps even landing a knockdown like he did against Cuadras as well.

This will be Rungvisai’s first fight since his victory over former straw-weight champion Kwanthai Sithmorseng 15 months ago. Rungvisai faces an opponent who moves well and can land shots from awkward angles. Additionally, he will have to deal with a crowd that will be very much against him as the fight takes place in Rodriguez’s hometown of him. Rungvisai will be the underdog in this contest, but he has upset the odds before with back-to-back victories over Roman Gonzalez. One can expect Rungvisai to use his power from him to slowly break down Rodriguez, who is still getting accustomed to super flyweight. By applying constant pressure, Rungvisai can consistently land his power shots on him and potentially knock out Rodriguez.

This fight is a worthy main event but those who tune in earlier can expect to see three other bouts that would also make excellent headliners.

Flying under the radar is a fight between Murodjon ‘MJ’ Akhmadaliev (10-0, 7 KOs) and Ronny Rios (33-3, 16 KOs) for the WBA and IBF super-bantamweight titles. In Akhmadaliev, you have a well-schooled fighter who secured a title early in his career. His last fight by him against Jose Velasquez required much more effort than expected, given that it was arranged on short notice. He will look to put that performance behind him with this bout. Rios has earned a title shot following a career resurgence with wins over the likes of Diego De La Hoya and Oscar Negrete. However, he will be coming off a 16-month layoff as well as a bout with COVID. This is an excellent clash between a unified champion and a top 10 super-bantamweight that fans will not want to miss. The winner of this fight could go on to meet Stephen Fulton for the undisputed championship.

Fans should also not miss out on the rematch between Julio Cesar Martinez (18-2, 14 KOs, 2 NCs) and McWilliams Arroyo (21-4, 16 KOs, 1 NC). The two were mandated to fight each other for the WBC and their flyweight title will be on the line. Their first fight had plenty of drama as both men were knocked down in the opening round. Arroyo was then cut due to a clash of heads and dropped in round two. At the beginning of round three, Arroyo’s cut was looked at and he was declared unfit to continue, rendering the fight a No Contest. Since the bout, Martinez moved up to super-flyweight to challenge Roman Gonzalez, a fight he lost by unanimous decision. On the other hand, Arroyo has not fought since the first bout. The winner could go on to unify with Sunny Edwards (IBF), Artem Dalakian (WBA) or Junto Nakatani (WBO). Expect to see a high volume of punches thrown by both fighters and for this fight to not go the distance.

The fourth title fight on this card will see Alma Ibarra (10-1, 5 KOs) challenge Jessica McCaskill (11-2, 4 KOs) for the undisputed welterweight world championship. This will be McCaskill’s third defense of her titles that she won from Cecilia Braekhus in 2020. Following a loss to Katie Taylor, McCaskill has been on a six-fight win streak that has seen her become unified champion at super-lightweight in addition to being undisputed at welterweight.

Her opponent is brave, however. In 2020, Ibarra was kidnapped in Mexico by people disguised as cops. She was eventually rescued after being held for more than 20 hours. She continued to box following the horrific incident and won bouts against former title challengers Kandi Wyatt and Maricela Cornejo. Both women are coming off of stoppage victories and a win for either can lead to more lucrative fights in the future.

In a battle of undefeated prospects, Raymond Ford (11-0-1, 6 KOs) takes on local fighter Richard Medina (13-0, 7 KOs). Ford will be looking to put his controversial win over Edward Vazquez behind him and cement himself as a top 15 featherweight. Medina will look to do the same while also establishing himself on a mainstream boxing platform.

Marc Castro (7-0, 5 KOs) continues his journey as a prospect against Omar Castillo (7-4, 4 KOs) and Nikita Ababiy (11-0, 6 KOs) returns from a 20-month layoff to face Noe Larios Jr (14-1, 6 KOs) to round off the card.

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