Jesse Rodriguez vs Sunny Edwards results: Bam outpunches Edwards for stoppage win, unifies at flyweight

In a spectacular, high-contact fight, Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez prevailed over Sunny Edwards via ninth-round corner retirement and impressively added the IBF flyweight crown to his WBO version at the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona, on Saturday.

WATCH: Jesse Rodriguez vs. Sunny Edwards, live on DAZN

In the closing seconds of the ninth round, Rodriguez landed a blockbuster left to the jaw that deposited Edwards flat on his face. It was almost miraculous that the Englishman found his feet, although his fighting heart was in evidence throughout the contest. Mercifully, however, the Brit’s corner had seen enough and signalled to the referee to halt the bout between rounds.

“Excuse my language, but [becoming unified champ is] f****** bad ass,” said Rodriguez (19-0, 12 KOs) during his post-fight interview with DAZN. “I worked my ass off for this. I knew it was gonna come, it was just a matter of time.

“He was a lot quicker than I thought, he was a lot smarter than I thought, but you saw what happened. Sunny was moving a lot in the beginning, but I made him fight and he got caught. I was confident the whole fight and I felt him slowing down in rounds three and four. Sunny’s a hell of a fighter, but maybe he’s not used to being hit that much. I brought something tonight that he couldn’t handle.”

There was plenty of lead hand work in the opening round, but the most eye-catching shot across the three minutes was an effective and consistent straight left to the body by Bam. Edwards occasionally complained that these shots were low, but they appeared to strike the belt line.

In the second, Rodriguez landed a thumping right hand to Edwards’ left eye. The Englishman exaggeratedly stretched his mouth as though he felt something unusual and swelling began almost immediately. Good corner work with the enswell allowed Edwards to get down to work in earnest.

The tide of the action was not what was expected. Bam was boxing extremely well and Edwards sat down on his shots more than anyone would have expected. The visitor had real success, scoring brilliantly with the left hand as a lead and as a counter punch.

Not to be outdone, southpaw Bam responded very well in the fifth. In the final minute, the WBO champ upped the intensity and let some powerful shots go at mid-range. Edwards appeared to feel the power, but he fought back gamely and landed shots of his own. Crucially, however, he couldn’t stop his opponent’s forward march.

Bam landed a huge left early in round six and set the tone for that session. Both fighters duked it out and it was the American who got the best of it. One multi-punch salvo had Edwards in trouble against the ropes, but again, showing immense fighting heart, the Brit attacked with fury. A cut had now opened under his left eye.

After the midway point, things went from bad to worse for Edwards. The Englishman sustained another cut over the right eye, and although he stood his ground like a champion, Rodriguez was getting full weight on his punches and causing damage.

Without exaggeration, Edwards probably absorbed more punishment in this fight than in his previous 20 outings. Normally a defensive master, he was nailed with brutal combinations in the final two rounds and the blood was spraying from his face.

The knockdown was a world-class shot from a world-class fighter. Bam immediately called out WBC and Ring Magazine counterpart Juan Francisco Estrada.

Edwards falls to 20-1 (4 KOs).

Jesse Rodriguez vs. Sunny Edwards full card

  • Jesse Rodriguez (c) def. Sunny Edwards via TKO 10 (0:01) (c) for the WBO and IBF flyweight titles
  • Murodjon Akhmadaliev def. Kevin Gonzalez via TKO 8 (2:49); Super Bantamweights
  • Galal Yafai def. Rocco Santomauro via UD 10 (99-91, 98-93, 97-93); Flyweights
  • Ja’Rico O’Quinn def. Peter McGrail via KO 5 (2:19); Super Bantamweights
  • Arturo Popoca def. Carlos Mujica via TKO 4 (1:24), Super Bantamweights
  • Junaid Bostan def. Gordie Russ II via UD 8 (79-73, 79-73, 79-73); Super Welterweights
  • Joe McGrail def. Edgar Ortiz Jr. via TKO 2 (2:40); Featherweights
  • Alberto Gonzalez def. Alexis Eduardo Molina via KO 2 (2:24); Featherweights

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