What next for Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez?
By Gerardo Granados: In a fight of the year performance of Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez and contender Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, the fight judges decided to give the win to the challenger in a heinous robbery of the year nominee. The official score cards were 113-113 and 114-112 twice for Rungvisai, I scored it 115-111 for Chocolatito
After an early flash knock down, Roman Gonzalez regained control of the actions since the third round. Rungvisai fought dirty, constantly fouled and used his head to cut Chocolatito eyebrows early on the fight, referee Steve Willis took only one point from Rungvisai in the sixth round for yet another head-butt but allowed him to constantly clinch.
In the past the challenger had to take the title off the Champion, if the fight was close the title stayed with the Champion. But the Chocolatito vs Rungvisai was far from being close. So to know how Rungvisai could have won is a mystery for me.
Chocolatito out-punched Rungvisai in a helluva fight and for the fight fans who based their call on the punch stats here are final punch stats. Total punches Gonzalez 441/1013 – Rungvisai 284/940, total jabs Gonzalez 69/364 – Rungvisai 7/176 and total power punches Gonzalez 372/659 – Rungvisai 277/764.
Chocolatito also edged defense, by making Rungvisai miss a lot of his punches, it was clear Roman edged ring generalship and effective aggression after the second round against a dirty fighter and don’t forget it was not the challenger but the Champion Gonzalez who pushed the fight whilst bleeding due the cuts that resulted from the constant head-butts.
Just as Larry Holmes when he lost a dubious decision against Michael Spinks, Chocolatito was also robbed and prevented from breaking a statistical record that on times fight fans give too much merit. But Roman will never be robbed from his boxing legacy, which for sure will make him a first ballot hall of fame choice.
Maybe the WBC should order a direct rematch. Perhaps Chocolatito could consider moving up to the bantam division to challenge IBF Lee Haskins or WBO Marlon Tapales. It might be possible that Gonzalez punching power isn’t the same at super fly as it was at the straw, light fly and fly weight divisions. But for sure if a rematch isn’t ordered by the WBC then Roman will still have plenty of options left at super fly, be it WBA Khalid Yafai, IBF Jerwin Ancajas and WBO Naoya Inoue.
I asked a knowledgeable boxing fan if Chocolatito should consider moving up to the bantamweight division, she replied “no. he’s had too many life & death matchups at 115… 118 would be suicide.” I believe as Roman previously stated interest in moving up in weight that he should take a six months rest before he decides to move up or not on his next bout. I would bet on Chocolatito to win against bantam titlists Haskins and Tapales, due Chocolatito´s experience, ring smarts – IQ and technical ability.
Future doesn’t look uncertain for Chocolatito and for sure he still is the man to beat at the super fly weight division and the interest to see him fight must have increased after seeing him fight the way he did last Saturday night.
But, which does the reader think will be Chocolatito next move, should he stay or move up?