Bam Rodriguez gets past surprisingly tough Israel Gonzalez by decision

Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez’s easiest fight on paper this year turned out to be his hardest in the ring.

Rodriguez, who caused a sensation by outpointing Carlos Cuadras and stopping Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in back-to-back fights, defeated a stubborn Israel Gonzalez by a unanimous decision to retain his 115-pound title on the Canelo Alvarez-Gennadiy Golovkin card Saturday in Las Vegas.

The scores were 118-109, 117-110 and 114-113. Boxing Junkie scored it 115-112 for Rodriguez, eight rounds to four.

Rodriguez (17-0, 11 KOs) had to work hard to come away with the victory.

Gonzalez, a four-time title challenger from Mexico, got off to a quick start by outworking Rodriguez — including a number of body shots — in the first several rounds.

However, by Round 3 or 4, Rodriguez picked up his pace and began to land an assortment of punches that were harder and cleaner than those of his light-punching opponent, which obviously impressed the judges.

And the 22-year-old from San Antonio had some of his best rounds down the stretch, when the outcome seemed to be in doubt. Boxing Junkie had the fight even after nine rounds but gave Rodriguez the final three rounds, which gave him the victory on our card.

Overall, Gonzalez (28-5-1, 11 KOs) threw more punches than Rodriguez but the winner slipped or blocked many of them and few caused damage.

Rodriguez lost a point for a low blow in Round 8 and could’ve lost another in Round 11 but referee Kenny Bayless missed the second foul, which sent Gonzalez to his knees.

Of course, a second point deduction would’ve had no bearing on the outcome given the two one-sided cards.

Rodriguez 3-0 this year, remains a Fighter of the Year candidate. He could face the winner of the title fight between Juan Francisco Estrada and Roman Gonzalez in December.

Israel Gonzalez is 0-4 in world title fights, although he probably performed well enough on Saturday to stay in contention for yet another shot at a belt.


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Story originally appeared on Boxing Junkie