It’s not usually {that a} fighter ends a profitable championship reign simply to drop down in weight.

Such a call was made by Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez, who relinquished his WBC junior bantamweight crown in late October in favor of pursuing a run Within the flyweight division. The transfer caught his co-promoter off guard but additionally motivated large plans for the yr forward, together with an unofficial flyweight match between the divisional champions.

“I used to be slightly bit stunned that he would transfer down,” Eddie Hearn admitted to “In fact, he began on the lighter weight. Then he took the title struggle at 115. Now he’s determined to return to flyweight.

“I fairly appreciated him to struggle the winner of [the third fight between Juan Francisco] Estrada-Chocolatito [Gonzalez] however he’s campaigning at flyweight now and desires to change into a two-division champion. He needs to struggle Julio Cesar Martinez, he needs to struggle Sunny Edwards. Each are huge fights.”

The transfer got here after Rodriguez loved a breakout yr in 2022, successful three fights with the WBC junior bantamweight title at stake. He started the yr by preventing for the belt on simply six days’ discover, transferring up in weight to face former titlist Carlos Cuadras instead of former lineal champ Srisaket Sor Rungvisai who fell in poor health. Rodriguez outpointed Cuadras over twelve rounds on Feb. 4 in Phoenix, adopted by a hometown headliner versus Sor Rungvisai. Rodriguez delivered a career-best efficiency, knocking out the Thai southpaw within the eighth spherical of their June 25 DAZN headliner in San Antonio. 

His 2022 marketing campaign ended with a twelve-round, unanimous choice victory over two-time title challenger Israel Gonzalez. It got here on the undercard of the Canelo Alvarez-Gennadiy Golovkin trilogy conflict at T-Cellular Area in Las Vegas. There was pre-fight discuss of compressing in a fourth struggle on the yr, earlier than Rodriguez shut every part right down to reload for 2023 and return to the flyweight division. 

With that call got here the thought for Matchroom Boxing to discover a collection of excessive profile 112-pound fights.

Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing has promotional ties to each Rodriguez (17-0, 11KOs) and reigning WBC flyweight champ Julio Cesar Martinez (19-2, 14KOs; 2NC). Rodriguez is in line to subsequent face Mexico’s Cristian Gonzalez for the vacant WBO flyweight title someday in early spring 2023. If Hearn will get his method, Martinez may face the uber-talented Sunny Edwards, the reigning IBF flyweight titlist promoted by Probellum who has lengthy known as for a unification bout with the fiery puncher from Mexico Metropolis.

A possible choice for Rodriguez if Edwards-Martinez involves fruition is the winner of the January 28 conflict between WBA flyweight titlist Artem Dalakian (21-0, 15KOs) and obligatory challenger David Jimenez. Their bout will happen at OVO Area Wembley in London, with Edwards-Martinez additionally prone to land within the U.Okay.

By yr’s finish, the hope is to crown a single flyweight king.

“I wish to get Julio Cesar Martinez in unifications,” acknowledged Hearn. “He’s clearly not going to remain at 112 endlessly. He’s able the place he’s an excellent fighter, very troublesome to beat. I do know for a incontrovertible fact that Julio Cesar Martinez needs to struggle Sunny Edwards. So, too, does Bam Rodriguez. That’s one other nice struggle, Bam vs. Sunny Edwards.”

Jake Donovan is a senior author for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

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