By Dan Ambrose: Roman ‘Chocolaito’ Gonzalez (46-2, 38 KOs) has four possible opponents for his comeback fight on May 5th on the undercard of Saul Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin 2 on HBO pay-per-view at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Gonzalez, 30, has a2-fight losing streak and it’s very important that he wins his next fight. Gonzalez was stopped by Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in the 4th round last September. In Gonzalez’s first fight with Rungvisai last year in April, he lost a 12 round majority decision. That was a close fight that could have gone Gonzalez’s way, but he was knocked down in round 1, and he took a beating. The judges obviously took that in account when they were scoring the fight. A loss at this point would be disastrous for the former 4-divison world champion and No.1 pound-for-pound star Chocolatito.
Here are the 4 possible opponents according to Armas2Enrique:
• Jamie Conlan (19-1, 11 KOs)
• Hernan Marquez (43-8-2, 30 KOs)
• Luis Conception (37-6, 26 KOs)
• Iran Diaz (14-2-2, 6 KOs)
Iran Diaz is probably the best of the four candidates for Gonzalez to fight. Diaz is from Mexico, and he has recent wins over Hernan Marquez and Luis Concepcion. Those are both candidates for Chocolaito’s May 5th fight. Diaz beat Marquez by a close 0 round unanimous decision in September 2016. Last year, Diaz defeated Concepcion by a 10 round unanimous decision in September 2017. Diaz would give the Nicaraguan Roman Gonzalez a tough fight, and might even bet him if he’s not on his A-game on the night. Diaz isn’t in the same league obviously as Srisaket Sor Rungvisai or Juan Francisco Estrada, but he’s still a good fighter nonetheless. Diaz has losses to Nordine Oubaali and Juan Hernandez Navarrette. He also has draws against Jorge de Alba and Marcos Cardenas.
The 31-year-old Conlan from Ireland hasn’t fought since being wiped out in 6 rounds by International Boxing Federation super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas last November in Belfast, Northern Ireland. That was an embarrassing defeat for Conlan, because it took place in front of his own Irish fans at The SSE Arena. Ancajas knocked Conlan down four times in the fight in dropping him in rounds 1, 3, 4 and 6. Conlan couldn’t handle the body punching of Ancajas. If Gonzalez wants an easy fight, Conlan would likely be the softest opponent of the four.
Hernan Marquez, 29, is a former WBA World flyweight champion. He held the WBA title from April 2011 to November 2012. Marquez has a lot of mileage on him from his many wars in the last five years. During that time, Marquez has lost to Juan Francisco Estrada, Nonito Donaire, Luis Concepcion, Iran Diaz, Giovanni Segura, Brian Viloria and McJoe Arroyo. Marquez has also lost to Nonito Doniare and Richie Mepranum. Marquez would make for an exciting opponent for Gonzalez to fight.
Chocolaito Gonzalez’s management should look to match him against Conlan or Marquez. Those two appear to be the weakest of the four. But at this point in Chocolatito’s career if he can’t beat all four of those candidates, then he either needs to move back down in weight to 112 or retire. None of those 4 fighters are world championship level fighters.