IT was announced this afternoon (March 28) that Juan Francisco Estrada will, as expected, defend his WBC super-flyweight against Jesse Rodriguez on June 29 in Phoenix, Arizona.

As good a fight as you can make in boxing today, this quite brilliant battle between Estrada and Rodriguez will take place at Phoenix’s Footprint Center and will be shown live on DAZN. It will also be touted by many as a potential “Fight of the Year” candidate, and that’s before a punch has even been thrown.

For the 33-year-old Estrada, 44-3 (28), this defence against Rodriguez marks the first time he has set foot in a ring since beating his great rival Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez in the third installment of their epic trilogy in December 2022. Meanwhile, Rodriguez, 19-0 (12), who is nine years Estrada’s junior, was last seen dazzling against Sunny Edwards, also in Phoenix, and unifying the IBF and WBO belts in the flyweight division. That night in December he stood toe to toe with the brave Englishman before putting him out of his misery in round nine.

Rodriguez taunts Edwards in December (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

“I’m very happy to announce my return against ‘Bam’ Rodriguez,” said Estrada. “After my last victory against Chocolatito we took a good break and I was able to spend quality time with my family and my kids and heal an injury I was dealing with.

“I will be more than ready since I know Rodriguez is a dangerous fighter, but in June it will be clear that there is plenty of ‘Gallo’ excitement to come.”

As for Rodriguez, he said, “Fighting for my fourth world title against a legend like ‘Gallo’ is huge. This is a fight I’ve been wanting for a while and I’m ready to prove myself once again.

“On June 29 you guys will see another special performance. And the new!”