Five things to know about Jesse 'Bam' Rodriguez-Sunny Edwards

This weekend, the best flyweight in the world should emerge. 

As the WBO flyweight champion, Jesse 'Bam' Rodriguez faces the IBF flyweight champion, Sunny Edwards, on Saturday, December 16, at the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona.

The bout broadcast on DAZN will see the best modern European flyweight facing the best flyweight from the United States, currently.

Though athletes in the lower weight classes have struggled to get television time in the past, fighters like Michael Carbajal and Roman Gonzalez kicked down the doors for these type of events to happen.

Edwards, an extrovert, often on social media faces an introvert in 'Bam' Rodriguez, a reluctant superstar of sorts.

Most view this fight as the two best flyweights facing each other.

Here are five things to consider about this match.

01. Age

Boxers get old quicker at the lower weights, something that legendary boxing promoter, Don Chargin used to say. Edwards is 27-years-old, and has been professional since 2016. ‘Bam' is 23-years-old. It is hard to think 27 by any metric is old, but could it be in this weight class?

02. What is Bam’s natural weight?

‘Bam’ is a big guy for the lower weights. He is much bigger than Edwards in all the pre-fight videos. He also won his world title at super flyweight and is now fighting in the weight class below at flyweight.

‘Bam’ has yet to find a weight class he seems to find as his own. He turned pro in 2017 at 105-pounds. Then, went to 108 lbs, and had a one-off fight at featherweight. He bounced between junior flyweight and flyweight before moving up to super flyweight, and having a tremendous 2022 — a year that he almost won Fighter of the Year. 

A question leading into the bout is how comfortable does ‘Bam’ make the weight? Is there any downside to him fighting below the super flyweight limit, where he looked the best at?

03. Ring Time and Power

‘Bam’ has gone 94 rounds. Edwards has 161 rounds. That is nearly double the amount of experience in the ring. 

Yet, ‘Bam’ has eighteen pro fights and Edwards has twenty. 

This says two things: 1, Edwards has a lot more experience, and 2, ‘Bam’ seems to have a lot more power. Experience might just be a footnote if Edwards can’t keep ‘Bam’ honest or at the least perplexed. Neither fighter seems to have a clear advantage.

Numbers often paint a picture, but for this fight it seems hindsight will be 20:20. Neither guy seems to obviously have a clear-cut advantage. 

04. Edwards has been dropped twice in December…

This is a classic puncher versus a boxer. Albeit, ‘Bam’ is a lot more than ‘just a puncher’. Yet, in terms of effective aggression, ‘Bam’ is up there with Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez and Naoya Inoue. 

In a December 2019 bout, Edwards was dropped by Marcel Braithwaite in the seventh round. He was also cut in the ninth round. Edwards won every round besides those in question, but it leaves questions. Going back even further Junior Granados dropped Edwards in there bout in December of 2018.

The month of December has not been kind to Edwards, and this fight is in December. 

Considering, ‘Bam’ Rodriguez seems to be the hardest-hitting flyweight in the world… this is a troubling pattern. 

05. ‘Bam’ broke his jaw

In 2022, Rodriguez won the WBC super flyweight title from Carlos Cuadras and then went on to stop Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. These two performances made him a star. He was in the running for Fighter of the Year in 2022. Yet, his last fight of 2022 against Israel Gonzalez was a taxing battle he won, but was closer than expected. 

Since that bout, ‘Bam’ has fought once against Cristian Gonzalez Hernandez to win the WBC flyweight vacant title. That was in April. 'Bam' also got his jaw broken in that fight.

This is his first fight back since his jaw injury. Let's see if that has an impact on his aggressive style.