Respect for the little guys: Roman Gonzalez
By Gav Duthie: Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez 40-0 (34) is one of the front running contenders to take on Floyd Mayweather Jr’s mantle when he retires next year as the top P4P fighter. But is he getting the respect he deserves as a low weight fighter? Ring magazine currently rate him at number #9 despite his already fantastic achievements.
The question is can one really be considered the best unless he fights in one of the more popular weight divisions.
Gonzalez has won his 40 straight fights so far, he is only 27 years old and is a three-weight world champion. Standing at only 5″3 it is unlikely that he can move through the weights like a Manny Pacquaio and will probably only max out at 118-122 lbs. Gonzalez has already captured titles at minimumweight, light flyweight and flyweight and plans at least two more jumps.
Despite being a huge boxing fan myself I can’t even pretend to have a huge in depth knowledge of boxing below the 122 (super bantamweight) division. From minimumweight-bantamweight it is generally dominated by the Asian market, particularly Japan who boast several world champions. A fight at any of these weights would never headline a card in the US or UK but should that matter. The whole concept of P4P is that even with your physical limitations you are the most skilled boxer based on your talents not size. Yet I still feel the smaller fighters are not given nearly enough credit.
Ricardo ‘El Finito’ Lopez
‘El Finito’ is the exception that proves the rule. He is the one minimumweight boxer that every fan knows. He holds a joint record with Joe Louis for 26 consecutive title bouts without loss. Do you have to be this good to gain respect. Lopez finished his career 51-0-1 (38) he won 3 titles at minimumweight and a further a light flyweight. His blemish was a technical draw against Rosendo Alvarez then 25-0-1 as it was stopped in the 7th due to an accidental clash of heads. In the rematch Alvarez came in overweight but Lopez still took the fight and won by split decision. He was allegedly also undefeated as an amateur although some speculate that he lost once. Either way he was a supreme athlete and a boxing and mexican legend. I would argue though that if the Nicaraguan Gonzalez does achieve titles at 5 weights his achievements will eclipse ‘El Finitos’.
Gonzalez told TV station Golpe a Golpe that wants to win titles in five weight divisions. His first ambition is to unify the Light Flyweight titles against WBA super and WBO champion Juan Francisco Estrada 28-2 (20). Gonzalez has already beaten Estrada so would be expected to do so again. He states that he could move to 115 in 2015 and 118 in 2016. He would then likely be targeting the likes of 38 year old WBO Super Flyweight champion Omar Narvaez 43-1-2 (23) and WBA Bantamweight champion Anselmo Moreno 35-2-1 (12) over the next couple of years.
Lets say for the sake of argument he achieves his goal and is a Bantamweight champion by 2016 would fans consider him a possible P4P number 1 or would he need to step up another weight to Super Bantamweight to fight Rigondeaux, Santa Cruz and Frampton before he fully gains fans respect?
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