By Dan Ambrose: Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez (49-2, 41 KOs) reveals that he’s 80-90% done in the negotiations for a rematch against Juan Francisco Estrada (40-3, 27 KOs) in 2021.
Apart from finalizing the negotiations, both fighters need to win their respective matches on DAZN this month on October 23 in Mexico City, Mexico.
Estrada, 30, is in his prime now, and he wants to avenge his loss to Chocolatito that he suffered eight years ago. After all this time, ‘El Gallo’ Estrada is on the verge of getting his chance.
Estrada and ‘Chocoltito’ Gonzalez need to win their fights this month on October 23, and then they’ll be ready to meet up in 2021 in a unification match at 115.
Roman and Estrada have tough tests
Chocolatito, 32, will be defending his WBA super flyweight title against #3 WBA Israel Gonzalez (25-3, 11 KOs), while Estrada will be making a defense of his WBC 115-lb against former WBC champ Carlos Cuadras (39-3-1, 27 KOs).
Estrada has arguably got the toughest fight on the card, as he’s facing a rejuvenated Cuasdras, who has won his last three fights and is firing on all cylinders. When Estrada beat Cuadras by a narrow 12 round decision in September 2017, he wasn’t at his best in that fight.
Cuadras had lost a grueling 12 round war against Chocolatito in 2016, and he had looked poor in his first fight after that against David Carmona.
Estrada took advantage of that by beating Cuadras by a close decision. Surprisingly, McWilliams Arroyo beat Cuadras in early 2018. That was Carlo’s third defeat in his last four fights at the time. But since then, Cuadras got back to basics and turned his career around with three straights since 2018.
In a bonus, WBC flyweight champion Julio Cesar Martinez (16-1, 12 KOs) will be taking on IBO champ Maximino Flores (25-4-2, 17.
Chocolatito vs. Estrada II close to being finalized
Martinez, 25, was originally supposed to be defending against #1 WBC McWilliams Arroyo, but the match couldn’t get made. Flores was brought as a replacement, and it’s a good match-up.
“Almost everything is already closed (for a rematch with Estrada), some details are missing, but 80-90% are already detailed for that fight,” said Chocolatito to ESPN Deportes.
“It’s going to be a fighter, a good fight. In the end, that is the fight that we are both waiting for to win good money and we will see what happens, ”revealed‘ Chocolatito ’to ESPN KNOCKOUT.
It’s been eight years since Roman Gonzalez defeated Estrada by a 12 round unanimous decision in November 2012 in Los Angeles, California.
Since then, a lot has changed with Chocolatito losing twice to Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, and Estrada losing to the same fighter. Although Estrada did avenge his loss to Rungvisai last year in April, it was still a close contest and did not separate the two fighters.
The difference in that fight was Estrada having the crowd on his side at ‘The Forum’ in Inglewood, California.
Rungvisai started slowly and looked flat for the first six rounds. However, he woke up in the second half of the contest and took the fight to Estrada, who had problems with the Thai fighter’s pressure and power.
Rungvisai mostly seemed uncomfortable with the crowd cheering loudly for Estrada each time he would throw a punch. Even when Estrada missed, the crowd was cheering him. If the match had taken place at a neutral venue or in Thailand, Rungvisai would have won.
Roman can’t overlook his Oct.23 opponent
Chocolatito has got a potentially hard fight on his hands against Israel Gonzalez, and he’s going to need to bring his A-game for him to win. Israel has everything to gain in taking on a superstar like Chocolatito, so you can bet he’s going to be giving it his all on October 23.
If Roman isn’t at his best, he could lose to Israel, and that would his hopes for a rematch against Estrada.
Roman insists that he’s in better shape now than he was for his last fight against WBA super flyweight champion Kal Yafai last February in Frisco, Texas. Gonzalez wore the previously unbeaten Yafai down, dropping him in rounds eight and nine of the fight.
Yafai looked weight drained for the contest and not the same energetic fighter he’d been since turning professional in 2012.
It didn’t help Yafai that Gonzalez was putting unrelenting pressure on him fro start to finish, and he didn’t have the gas tank to keep up with the fast pace. Chocolatito’s combination punching was especially problematic for the 31-year-old Yafai to deal with.
“I am better prepared than when I faced Yafai,” continued Roman Gonzalez. “And I stayed in the gym and took better care of myself. I have been preparing for this fight for three and a half months.
Gonzalez well prepared
“I feel very strong and I feel like I’m going with everything. At this moment it is difficult for someone to really beat me, I feel very strong.
“I am confident in the condition that I have and that is what motivates me to give more desire to the world of boxing,” said Chocolatito.
Israel Gonzalez has stepped it up a level in recent years and was found wanting in defeats against Jerwin Ancajas and Kal Yafai in 2018. Despite losing both of those fights, Israel gave them both a tough time with hi activity and youth. He was only 21 when he fought Yafai and Ancajas but still did well up to a point.
Chocolatito is getting a better version of Israel than what Yafai and Ancajas did two years ago. This might not be an easy fight for Chocolatito unless he’s at his very best. Israel has won his last two fights, beating Sho Ishida and Jose Luis Zazueta.
Roman says he would like to move up to 118 to try and capture a world title at bantamweight before he hangs up his gloves in the future. However, Chocolatito may have his hands full if he tries to unseat IBF/WBA bantamweight champion Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue or WBO champion John Riel Casimero.
Those guys are big punchers, and they from the frames and the power to compete at the highest levels at 118. In contrast, Chocolatito is still punching at the same power level as when he fought at 112, and he could have problems if he moves up in weight to 118.
Julio Cesar Martinez vs. Maximino Flores
WBC flyweight champion Julio Cesar Martinez will be looking to impress against IBO champ Maximino Flores. Martinez had a really tough time against little known Jay Harris last February, and that fight turned out to be one of the toughest of his career.
Martinez came on in the championship rounds to win a narrow decision, but it wasn’t easy. Harris had amazing boxing skills, and he fought tooth and nail the whole time.