Roman Gonzalez receives offer to face Kal Yafai
By Tim Royner: Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez reportedly has received an offer to face WBA super flyweight Kal Yafai (24-0, 15 KOs) if he gets past his next opponent Pedro Guevara on December 8, according to ESPN Deportes.
Gonzalez (47-2, 39 KOs) will be fighting Guevara )32-3-1, 19 KOs) on HBO World Championship Boxing next month at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.
For Gonzalez, 31, is’t an opportunity for him to win a world title at 115 against unquestionably one of the weaker champions at 115.
Yafai, 29, and his promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport have wanted the Chocolatito fight for over a year, but now they finally have a chance to make a fight with him after his two losses to Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. Rungvisai outpointed Gonzalez by a 12 round decision in their first fight in March 2017, and then knocked him out in 4 rounds in their rematch in September 2017. Both fights showed that Chocolatito isn’t the same fighter at 115 than he was when he was fighting at 105, 108 and 112.
Yafai needs to defeat Israel Gonzalez (23-2, 10 KOs) this month on November 24 at the Casino de Monte Carlo Salle Medecin, Monte Carlo. Gonzalez was knocked out in the 10th round earlier this year in February in a one-sided match. It’s unknown why Yafai’s promoter Eddie Hearn has selected Israel Gonzalez for him to fight instead of a higher ranked contender that hasn’t lost recently and is doing well with their careers? By Hearn putting Yafai in with Israel Gonzalez, he’s increasing his chances of winning and looking good.
Gonzalez won’t be leaving the super flyweight division despite his poor performances against Rungvisai and Carlos Cuadras. If Chocolatito beats guevara on december 8 and then potentially Yafai in 2019, then his next move will be for him to move up to bantamweight in 2020. It’s an ambitious plan on Gonzalez’s part, as he’s shown that he’s not cut out to be fighting at super flyweight due to his lack of size and defensive skills. Going up to bantamweight will likely end in failure on Gonzalez’s part. Gonzalez wants to win a world title at 118, which would make him a five-division world champion. Moving up in weight would allow Gonzalez to eat a little more and not have to worry about cutting weight. Gonzalez has always looked a little chunky, and he would have a little bit of weight to play with if he moves up to bantamweight.
Gonzalez hasn’t given up on the idea of facing World Rungvisai. However, it’s unlikely that Chocolatito will take the risk of fighting Rungvisai again.
“Guevara is a good fighter, he moves well, he has experience and we will see what happens on the day of fight,” Gonzalez said via ESPN.
Gonzalez won his last fight in stopping Moises Fuentes in the 5th round last September. It was a good performance from Gonzalez, but it wasn’t against one of the best fighters in the 115 lb weight class. Fuentes’ best years were fought at light flyweight, not super flyweight.
“I was offered the fight with Yafai, but before I have this challenge, I know it’s a good possibility, but let’s see if Yafai is concrete,” Chocolatito said. “I would also like a new opportunity with Rungvisai, we would have to prepare better than ever, with A lot of strategy, trying to take care of his left, it will be a complicated fight, but everything I did would be different.”
It would be wiser for Gonzalez to take the fight with Yafai rather than fighting a tough guy like Rungvisai. Gonzalez will get a good payday fighting Yafai, and it’s a winnable fight for him. Gonzalez would still likely be undersized by fighting Yafai, but he wouldn’t be as badly over-matched in the power department.