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Estrada-Rodriguez 115-Pound Championship Phoenix-Bound For June 29

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Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez will return to the same venue that housed his first major title win.

Fittingly, the very same belt will be at stake.

The Ring has confirmed that a location has been secured for the targeted showdown between Rodriguez and 115-pound champion Juan Francisco ‘El Gallo’ Estrada. The highly anticipated bout, once finalized, will headline a June 29 DAZN show from Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona.

Mexico’s Estrada (44-3, 28 knockouts) will attempt the fifth defense of his RING 115-pound championship. It will also mark his first defense of the WBC 115-pound title.

Rodriguez (19-0, 12 KOs) previously held that alphabet title before he moved up to flyweight to unify two titles. The unbeaten San Antonio native defeated former titlist Carlos Cuadras (42-5-1, 28 KOs) atop a Feb. 2022 DAZN-aired card from Footprint Center. The fight was put together on six days’ notice. Rodriguez was due to appear on the undercard but agreed to step in to replace an ill Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.

Two title defenses followed, including an eighth-round stoppage of Sor Rungvisai in a June 2022 homecoming in San Antonio. Rodriguez abandoned his WBC 115-pound title after a Sept. 2022 win over Israel Gonzalez.

Estrada claimed the belt for a second time when he outpointed legendary former four-division champ Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez (51-4, 41 KOs). Their Dec. 2022 rubber match saw Estrada win a majority decision in a DAZN main event from Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona.

The same arena saw Rodriguez unify two titles at flyweight. He stopped England’s Sunny Edwards (20-1, 4 KOs), No. 2 at 112 after nine rounds in their December 16 battle of unbeaten titleholders.

Desert Diamond Arena was initially rumored to host Estrada-Rodriguez. However, the venue is not available on that date. Matchroom seized the opportunity to bring it downtown and to the home of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns.

Rodriguez remains No. 1 at 112, though he figures to exit the divisional rankings and resurface at 115. The undefeated 24-year-old is also The Ring’s No. 10 pound-for-pound fighter.

Estrada’s Ring championship reign dates back to his win over Thailand’s Sor Rungvisai in their April 2019 rematch. The terrific fight occurred 14 months after Estrada suffered a majority decision defeat to Sor Rungvisai. His activity level has been crippled due to injuries, illnesses, the pandemic and breakdown in negotiations.

Two failed rounds of talks with WBA titlist Kazuto Ioka (31-2-1, 16 KOs), No. 1 at 115, have left Estrada out of the ring since Dec. 2022. Estrada, who turns 34 on April 14, was left with a backup plan, given the other opponent’s willingness.

Rodriguez long ago signed a blank check for this fight. His team was equally willing to enter talks with IBF titlist Fernando ‘Puma’ Martinez (16-0, 9 KOs), No. 2 at 115.

This show will mark the second of the year to take place at Footprint Center. The venue previously hosted Jaime Munguia’s ninth-round knockout of England’s John Ryder on January 27.

Jake Donovan a senior writer for The Ring and vice president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Follow @JakeNDaBox

 

 

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