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Juan Francisco Estrada vs. Bam Rodriguez: Youth Must Be Served

Publish Date: 06/29/2024
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

Streaming live on DAZN from the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona, Bam Rodriguez challenges lineal champion Juan Francisco Estrada. This is a highly anticipated matchup for more than one reason, the first being the style, of course. Estrada, the classical boxer versus the aggressive pressure fighter in what appears to be a ca n’t-miss main event on paper. You also have the older, wiser Estrada, which begs the question, is Juan capable of teaching one more lesson to the younger Bam? One can assume the 19-0 San Antonio native will be looking to rip the torch out of the hands of a first-ballot hall of famer. Whoever gets their hand raised on Saturday, the fans win in what should be a barnburner.

Estrada vs Rodriguez

  • Best Bet: Rodriguez by Decision
  • Moneyline Estrada -600
  • Moneyline Rodriguez +430
  • Over/Under 10.5

The old saying goes “Youth must be served” fits quite nicely when describing a prospect or rising star in boxing.  The term is generally used to imply that young people should be given opportunities to grow, learn, and express themselves while being treated with patience and understanding to nurture their potential.  As a talented boxer at the age of 24, Bam has been moved perfectly to this point, so he should be ready for yet another real test. Back to the fight, the skill level and experience on display in the ring guarantee this boxing podcaster will be on the edge of my seat. Saturday’s about will be Bam Rodriguez’s 6th fight since February 2022, making this sentence a perfect segue to the first item on this list of keys to this battle.

 

Although Estrada’s resume is as deep as they come in 21st-century boxing, Juan has been out of the ring for around 17 months. For a boxer who relies on timing as an elite counterpuncher, that time on the shelf is troubling. Not only has Bam been much more active, but it’s not like he’s been in there with stiffs. Facing names like Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, Carlos Cuadras, and Sunny Edwards in just 19 pro bouts is nothing to sneeze at. Both boxers have a more than capable jab, but Bam has one of the highest landing jabs per round, and it’s the most accurate in the sport.  Although an elite counterpuncher, Estrada throws and lands more power punches than Bam. Bam leads Gervonta Davis in landed power punching percentages 48.8 to 48.2, according to Compubox.

 

Bam must establish his jab to penetrate Estrada’s defense consistently enough to win more rounds. Throwing combos is great, but Bam can’t make the mistake of standing in front of Estrada. Using angles to get inside, along with the jab and some body work, is important. Rodriguez must back up Estrada into the ropes and corners, smothering his opponent’s work. Bam is moving up to 115, but it shouldn’t make that big of a difference, given that he’s fought at that weight three other times in recent years.

 

We can mention how talented Juan Francisco is, but is he too far over the hill to beat Bam? Being out of the ring for over a year puts him behind the 8-ball. Adding to the fact that he is not in his prime makes for a bit of an uphill climb. Now don’t get this boxing junkie wrong. We can’t forget Estrada has never been stopped. As much as I’ve been a fan of Estrada, his last best performance is probably in the 2020-21 range. Style was mentioned earlier, and having three bouts with Roman Gonzalez can’t hurt in Juan’s game plan prep. At times, Gonzalez seems to get downgraded by some defensively because of his aggression and all the wars he’s been in. Roman is an underrated defender, in my opinion. Let’s not forget Estrada has been in a bunch of two-way scraps as well, and one wonders he can muster up enough energy and mental focus to pull off the upset on Saturday,

 

Estrada has to win the early rounds, which is a tall order considering how fast Bam tends to start of the gate. Juan will be looking to set traps and lure Bam in to counters. Also, if ring rust doesn’t play a huge part, Estrada has a track record of landing the bigger punches in exchanges. If Estrada consistently pivots and effectively counters Rodriguez’s jab that will limit Bam’s creativity on offense. Bam will likely rely on his jab, angles on the way in, and work rate in an effort to wear down Juan Francisco as the rounds go on.

 

If this fight occurred after an impressive outing by the lineal king of 115 or even a few years ago, this lifelong boxing fan would be siding with Juan Francisco Estrada to win. In recent years, we’ve seen multiple high-level boxers at an advanced age look lackluster, with inactivity playing a major factor. In a 55-45 or 60-40 type fight, every advantage a fighter can get vastly improves their chances of winning. It won’t come easy, but Bam will scratch and paw his way to a competitive victory.

 

My Official Prediction is Bam Rodriguez by Majority-Decision.  

 

 

Written by Chris Carlson Host/Producer of The Rope A Dope Radio Podcast Available at www.blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio

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