Robert Garcia oversaw Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez sparring in Riverside, California, yesterday ahead of his WBC super flyweight bout with Juan Francisco Estrada.

Estrada-Rodriguez is one of the year’s most hotly-anticipated bouts and it is due to take place in Phoenix on June 29 at Footprint Center. 

Texan Rodriguez is 19-0 (12 KOs), Estrada is 44-3 (28 KOs) although Rodriguez is already being linked with a September superfight with Japan’s unified super bantamweight star Naoya Inoue in Wembley in London. Talk about that match could not be further from Garcia’s mind.  

“Everything’s going well,” said the coach.

“It [Estrada]’s a great challenge for Bam, Bam does what Bam wants. Bam told me ‘if it’s not Estrada, I’d rather wait a few months for a fight’. He said he didn’t want to fight if it was not Estrada, so we got him the fight and Estrada’s a very experienced fighter, pound-for-pound, he’s a Mexican legend. He might be the most talented Mexican in the world right now. I’m not saying the best, because we have guys like Canelo, but he might be the most talented at the moment.”

The 34-year-old Estrada is enormously-respected. He turned pro in 2008 and in his last fight, December 2022, defeated Roman Gonzalez via a majority decision, defeating the future Hall of Famer for a second time.

“It’s a great challenge,” Garcia said of the Estrada fight. “But that’s what Bam likes. He likes those challenges. He doesn’t want to hold back, fighting guys that nobody knows, that don’t mean anything for him. He wants to fight the best.”

Which brings us to the 27-0 (24 KOs) Inoue, who defeated Luis Nery in a thriller in the Tokyo Dome last week. Garcia is not certain whether they would entertain the fight, given the weight discrepancies, but also said now is not the time for speculation.

“We have to focus on Estrada right now. We have to focus on what’s next,” added the trainer. “That’s two divisions [up] so we’ve got to see that everything goes well on June 29, after that we will see what we want to do; 118 [bantamweight] is probably something that we could probably consider, but Inoue is 122 [super bantamweight], so it’s a big difference. 

“Inoue is pound-for-pound No. 1 or No. 2 in the world, so it’s tough, but we’re not thinking about that, we’re focusing on Gallo Estrada.”

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