Jesse Rodriguez: ‘The better the opponent, the better I perform’

Jesse Rodriguez's legend and decorated dossier continues to grow. 

On Saturday night, the 24-year-old Rodriguez eviscerated long-reigning pound-for-pound stalwart Juan Francisco Estrada via seventh-round knockout for the WBC super flyweight title.

Over the last two years, "Bam" has also blasted the likes of Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, Sunny Edwards and Carlos Cuadras.

Rodriguez labeled Estrada a “legend” heading into the fight before laying him to waste.

Following Saturday night’s sensational stoppage, Rodriguez (20-0, 13 KOs) is now labeling himself as the “legend slayer.” 

“The better the opponent, the better I perform,” Rodriguez said. “I've always felt that way. It was just a matter of time for the world to see it.

“I believe this is my best [win to date]. ‘Gallo’ Estrada is a legend. For me to go out there and dominate him the way I did says a lot about my talents. … I'm only getting better from here on out.”

Rodriguez and Estrada traded knockdowns during an entertaining fight. Rodriguez dropped Estrada in the fourth, and Estrada dropped Rodriguez in the sixth before Rodriguez closed the show in style with a body-shot knockout. 

“When I got dropped, I just got too careless,” said Rodriguez. “I got too comfortable, to be honest. I got caught with a good shot. It was a flash knockdown. I got back up and stuck to the game plan. It was a learning experience.” 

The fight was also surprisingly close on the scorecards. One judge had Rodriguez up 58-54, the other had it 57-56 for Estrada, while a third had it 56-56.

“It's pretty crazy to me. I thought I was dominating the whole fight,” said Rodriguez. “It was shocking. But that's boxing and that's the way it goes. I got him out of there.”

Rodriguez outlanded Estrada 156 to 95 and credited the spirited sparring sessions against Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez – who has fought Estrada three times – for his prolific performance. 

“I'm here at 115 pounds for two or three fights. I have a rematch clause with Estrada,” said Rodriguez. “So if he wants to run it back, we can. If not, then I would like the winner of Kazuto Ioka-Fernando Daniel Martinez.”

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on X (formerly Twitter), Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, through email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at] or via

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