Sunny Edwards unloads on Jesse Rodriguez at spicy news conference

It takes a lot to get under the skin of the reserved Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez but Sunny Edwards managed to do it at the final news conference before their title-unification fight Friday in Glendale, Arizona (DAZN).

Edwards, 27, called his fellow 112-pound champion a little kid because of his age, 23. He called him a cheater because of Rodriguez’s affiliation with SNAC Nutrition, which was founded by steroid convict Victor Conte. He said Rodriguez won’t be able to touch him the ring. And, in his lowest blow, he suggested that Rodriguez and his team are scared.

The fight between two of the best little men in the sport sells itself, but Edwards certainly added some intrigue.

The news conference started innocuously enough. Rodriguez (18-0, 11 KOs) spoke first, serving up the typical lines you hear at such as event.

“This is the biggest fight of my life, the biggest fight of my career, no doubt,” the Texan said. “But I’ve approached it the same way I always do, cool, calm, collected. No need for talking. My work has been done in the gym. Everyone will see that.”

Rodriguez was eventually asked what he thought of Edwards as a person. He said he noticed that the Briton talks a lot on social media but not when the fighters have been face to face.

That was like a starting gun for Edwards. He was off.

Some snippets:

  • “Your whole team is on eggshells. No one wants to look at me.”
  • “I just didn’t want to bully a 23-year-old kid that still writes love messages on Instagram comments because you wouldn’t have turned up otherwise.”
  • “SNAC. We all know what that means.”
  • “Gameplan. That’s what everyone says. My coach has a game plan, game plan, game plan. That game plan goes out the window when you can’t lay a glove on me. Fact.”
  • You are a little s—bag with a fragile ego. So shut the f— up.”

The last comment was about all Rodriguez was willing to take without firing back in kind. His response was succinct: “F— you.”

The fighters have done most of their talking in the ring over the past few years, during which both have established themselves as special talents.

Rodriguez had a sensational year last year, when he won a 115-pound title by outpointing Carlos Cuadros in February and then stopping Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in June.

He defended once more and then moved down to 112, at which he outpointed Cristian Gonzalez to win a vacant title even though he suffered a broken jaw.

Edwards (20-0, 4 KOs) doesn’t have much power but he’s a superb technician, which has allowed him to outclass all of his opponents.

The Londoner won his title by outpointing Moruti Mthalane in 2021 and has successfully defended four times.

The verbal battle will evolve into a physical one around 11 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. PT or a little after at Desert Diamond Arena.


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