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WBC upgrades Juan Estrada to Franchise champ, approves Chocolatito trilogy

Juan Francisco Estrada Roman Gonzalez

By Sean Jones: The WBC has elevated super flyweight champion, Juan Francisco Estrada, to Franchise champion and given green light for his trilogy match with Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez.

With Estrada being upgraded to the WBC Franchise champion at 115, the World Boxing Council has ordered #1 WBC contender Srisaket Sor Rungvisai to face #2 Carlos Cuadras for the now vacant WBC title.

The winners of the Estrada vs. Chocolatito 3 and Rungvisai vs. Cuadras 2 fights will fight.

Of course, that’s what the WBC wants but with them giving Estrada the Franchise tag, he doesn’t have to fight the Rungvisai – Cuadras II winner if he doesn’t wish to.

If Estrada beats Chocolatito and that’s a big IF, he can bypass the winner of the Rungvisai vs. Cuadras 2 rematch if he wishes to.

Juan Francisco Estrada Roman Gonzalez

I don’t think he will, though, because there will be a lot of fan interest in seeing Estrada take on the Rungvisai vs. Cuadras winner. Also, DAZN will want to see Estrada face the winner of that fight.

If Chocolatito fights the way he did in his rematch with Estrada on March 13, he should win. I mean, Chocolatito looked like the clear winner, and Estrada appeared to get a gift, which makes him look bad.

What Chocolatito has going against him is the trilogy match with Estrada will likely take place in Los Angeles, California, which means the crowd will have a lot of Mexican boxing fans.

Those fans will be cheering for Estrada, and if the judges are influenced by the crowd, we could see the same strange scoring that we saw for the Estrada-Chocolatito 2 rematch in Dallas.

The only to avoid the possibility of potential wacky scoring is to stage the Estrada vs. Chocolatito trilogy in a neutral venue where the fans will be split, but that’s not going to happen.

They need a large crowd to bring in money for the gate, and staging the match in Los Angeles will ensure that it makes the most money possible, with the downside we could have another controversial decision. That’s good for Estrada but bad for Chocolatito.

These two moves will make the boxing world happy, as they want to see the trilogy match between Estrada (42-3, 29 KOs) and former four-division world champion Chocolatito (50-3, 41 KOs).

There were a lot of unhappy people with the results of Estrada’s questionable 12 round split decision win earlier this month on March 13th on DAZN in Dallas, Texas.

The boxing world saw Chocolatito win that fight handily, and they were alarmed by the strange scoring for the fight in favor of Estrada, particularly otherworldly 117-111 score. It’s as if the judge that scored that fight had been watching another fight.

Juan Francisco Estrada Roman Gonzalez

Someone who probably isn’t happy is WBC mandatory Rungvisai 50-5-1, 43 KOs), who was supposed to be challenging Estrada for his WBC title.

Rungvisai had already stepped aside to let ‘El Gallo’ Estrada defend against Chocolatito for their rematch on March 13th, with the belief that he would challenge the winner.

Instead, Estrada has been given the Franchise tag by the WBC, and Rungvisai will be facing the recently knocked-out 32-year-old Cuadras (39-4-1, 27 KOs) for the vacant WBC super flyweight belt.

That’s a much less appealing fight for Rungvisai in going against Cuadras, who was knocked out in the 11th round in his last fight against Estrada last October.

This isn’t the same Cuadras that beat Rungvisai by an eight-round technical decision seven years ago in May 2014. Cuadras hasn’t looked like the same fighter he once was since his 12 round unanimous decision defeat against Chocolatito in September 2016.

What’s interesting about that fight is Chocolatito looked worse off than Cuadras when it was over in terms of facial swelling/damage, but he still won handily.

Moreover, Cuadras hasn’t had the same type of success that he had earlier ever since that fight, losing to Estrada twice and McWilliams Arroyo.

Cuadras even struggled to beat David Carmona by a controversial 10 round decision in March 2017. Many boxing fans had Carmona winning that fight, as did Sean Jones.

If you count that as a loss, Cuadras’ record in his last eight fights is 4-4. For a fighter as good Cuadras once was, that record suggests that he’s past it. The only question is, has the money changed things for Cuadras or the wear & tear he took from Chocolatito?

 

 




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