BN Fight Facts: Bam! Rodriguez stops Sunny Edwards in nine rounds in unexpected Fight of the Year contender

THE RESULT: Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez takes the undefeated record of Sunny Edwards and adds the IBF flyweight belt to the WBO strap he already owned. The fight was waved off by Edwards’ trainer Grant Smith after nine completed rounds due to the punishment his charge had taken and the damage done to both eyes. In the dying seconds of the eighth session Rodriguez caught Edwards flush with a huge left hand to drop Edwards for the first time in his career.

KEY MOMENTS: After an enthralling high-quality contest, the defining moment came right at the end of round eight when Rodriguez landed one of the punches of his career to send Edwards to the canvas. In round two a swelling underneath the left eye of Edwards began to form which became notably worse as the rounds progressed. There were some great back-and-forth exchanges between the two which was an unusual sight in a fight featuring the usually defensively-minded Edwards

RECORDS: Rodriguez moves to 19-0 (12) while Edwards drops to 20-1 (4).

TALKING POINT: The tactics of Edwards to stay within range of the Rodriguez reach advantage. In doing so it placed him in the firing line throughout but made for a terrifically entertaining fight. One where both men come out stronger for it.

QUOTABLE: “It was difficult,” said Rodriguez. “He was a lot quicker, a lot smarter than I thought. I made him wanna fight and he got caught. I brought something outta him tonight he couldn’t handle.”

“From about the second round I couldn’t really see out my left eye. It made it very hard to get away from his lead hand,” Edwards said. “Jesse’s a hell of a fighter. I knew that before the fight and I sure as hell know that after the fight.”

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? In his post-fight interview Rodriguez called out WBC super-flyweight belt holder Juan Francisco Estrada. A fight that would add even more strength to a résumé which features the scalps of Carlos Cuadras, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and now Sunny Edwards.

Edwards, meanwhile, spoke of a possible fight against fellow British flyweight and 2020 Olympic gold medallist Galal Yafai who moved to 6-0 (4) on tonight’s undercard beating Rocco Santomauro over 10 rounds.

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