Juan Francisco Estrada  vs. Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez Fight Analysis & Predictions

by | Last updated Jun 13, 2024 | boxing

Juan Francisco Estrada (44-3, 28 KOs) vs. Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez (19-0, 12 KOs)
When: Saturday, June 29, 2024
Where: Footprint Center, Phoenix, Arizona
Weight Class: WBC Super Flyweight Title


Betting Odds: Juan Francisco Estrada (+305), Jesse Rodriguez (-460)—Odds by Bovada


Fight Analysis:


Juan Francisco Estrada defends his super flyweight titles against Jesse Rodriguez in Phoenix on June 29. This is a bout that will carry enormous importance when future discussions take place as to who the best 115-pounder of all time is. “El Gallo” is 34, ten years older than Rodriguez, and the owner of one of the best resumes in division history. But this could be his toughest challenge—an unbeaten prodigy in Rodriguez, who has been wildly impressive in his short career. Who should we get behind in this one?

Estrada, known as “El Gallo,” has a remarkable track record. He has beaten some of the best fighters at or around this weight for the better part of a dozen years. His infrequent setbacks were all avenged emphatically, most notably being his 2-1 edge on future Hall of Famer Roman Gonzalez. Over the years, he has fought in some memorable bouts where he exhibited endless moxie and craft. He’s as tough as they come and one of the more skilled fighters to fight at this weight, thriving at a time when 115 pounds was stocked with hard-to-beat talent. In the end, he was the one standing. Therefore, it might be strange to some that he’s going off as such a pronounced underdog in this fight.

Still, without even yet getting into the extreme talent of the man he will be fighting, there are red flags. At 34 and out of action for over a year and a half, Estrada is now in that territory where diminishing returns are expected of fighters at this low of a weight. You then add in all the wars over the years where he had to fight like a wild dog to prevail over talent like Gonzalez, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, and others. His last fight in late-2022 was only a majority decision over an also-aging Gonzalez, but a win over a fighter like that can’t be dissected too closely, as the Nicaraguan legend was still a hard out even at that advanced stage. While we have in many ways been geared and conditioned to anticipate this as the spot where Estrada loses his edge, upon what basis is this so certain an outcome to warrant a -460 quote on Rodriguez against the great “El Gallo?”

You still have to admit that Rodriguez checks out in a big way, from his standout amateur career to an undefeated run in the pro ranks that has already seen him register some meaningful success. He has beaten Estrada rival Carlos Cuadras, while also having an easier time with Sor Rungvisai, stopping the tough Thai whereas Estrada split a pair of bouts with him. In his last fight, he won another flyweight title in a stoppage win of Sunny Edwards, adding to a previous belt he won at 115 pounds—quite the dossier for a 24-year old pro. That was in December of last year, as he has been the far more active fighter.

Bet on who wins, durations, TKO Y/N? and more at Bovada!
Rodriguez has a deceptively long reach, accentuated by his expert handling of range. He launches an attack and is instantaneously out of range, bouncing and darting in and out. It has a way of naturally making his opponents more reactive, eschewing their own offensive plans, as they adopt an outlook based on self-preservation. He just has this very innate way of making opponents less proactive. In the meantime, he’s piling on points and exacting damage. The fact that it all comes from left-handed stance, replete with a hammering jab makes it all the more unpleasant for prospective foes.

It’s not hard to get swept up into a story that writes itself that we’ve seen play out dozens if not hundreds of times in this sport. When you have a blue-chipper like Rodriguez cleaning up on opponents as he is, you’ll see him cross paths with an aging champion—maybe one who is less active and is slowing down. And the script usually plays out as the oddsmakers say it will for this fight. Again, after seeing it play out precisely that way time and again makes it an easy notion to co-sign.

When these two men step into the ring in Phoenix, however, those young vs. old fights we saw in the past will have no bearing. For a fighter to be such a strong favorite against an opponent, you’d like to see certain things. And from the perspective of evaluating Rodriguez, those things are all in place in a major way. But the flip side of the equation is the problem for me, specifically a belief that there isn’t a 115-pounder who ever existed who you can bank on running circles against the esteemed “El Gallo.” And when laying nearly 5-to-1 odds, that’s what you’re sort of asking to happen.

One cannot deny the appetizing nature of this spot for the younger undefeated champion. He’s a young phenom who has already shown his class with a handful of big wins. Estrada, meanwhile, is aging and dormant. I just feel that from a value-standpoint, +300 on Estrada is far and away the strongest move in this fight. And if Rodriguez is a pound-for-pound great a few years from now, taking a stand against him now might become a move that looks absurd in retrospect. But almost out of principle, I’m taking +300 on Estrada.

My Prediction to Win the Fight:
I’m betting on Juan Francisco Estrada to win at +300 betting odds. A lot of things might not set up well for the champion with the inactivity, advanced age, and an unbeaten opponent who looks to be one of the best young fighters seen at this weight in recent memory. But when you have the inner-resource, skill, experience, and fight IQ of Estrada, things can get a little more difficult.

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