Roman Gonzalez fighting Julio Cesar Martinez on March 5th

By Boxing News - 01/25/2022 - Comments

By Dan Ambrose:  Julio Cesar Martinez will be moving up to 115 to replace WBA/WBC Franchise super flyweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada as the opponent for superstar Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez in the main event on DAZN on March 5th at the Pechanga Arena in San Diego, California.

Having Rey Martinez as the replacement for Juan Estrada is arguably an improvement because it’s going to be more of a war between him and Chocolatito. Estrada doesn’t slug as much as Martinez, and there would have been a lot of chasing being done by Chocolatito.

The Gonzalez vs. Martinez fight will take place at super flyweight [115 lbs], and the venue will stay the same in San Diego, according to ESPN Deportes.

It’ll be Julio Martinez’s first fight at 115, and it’ll be interesting to see if he’s to the task.

Even before ‘Gallo’ Estrada decided to pull out of the Chocolatito (50-3, 41 KOs) fight on March 5th, there were already plans for ‘Rey’ Martinez to move up to super flyweight [115] to fight the winner of the contest. But with Estrada now out of the fight, the process has been accelerated.

This will be a big step up for the 26-year-old ‘Rey’ Martinez (18-1, 14 KOs), who holds the WBC flyweight title and is coming off a three round no contest against McWilliams Arroyo last November.

In some ways, Martinez is similar to Chocolatito in how he throws a lot of shots. However, Chocolatito is incredibly skilled and has more variation than Rey Martinez.

You can’t count out Martinez

Rey Martinez is a lot younger than the soon-to-be 35-year-old Chocolatito. If this were a younger Chocolatito, you could argue this would be a slaughter waiting to happen, as he’s a far more talented fighter than Rey Martinez.

The way Martinez looked in his last fight against McWilliams Arroyo, he could be a lot of trouble for Chocolatito. Martinez was like a human buzzsaw against the highly technical Arroyo, overwhelming him with his power and nonstop punching.

Fortunately for Arroyo, he was injured from a head-butt in the third and quickly bowed out of the fight.

Had the contest continued any further, Rey Martinez would likely have finished off the talented Puerto Rican 2008 Olympian.

Six years ago, Roman Gonzalez defeated Arroyo by a comprehensive 12 round unanimous decision in 2016. However, that was a much younger version of Arroyo than the 36-year-old version that Rey Martinez fought last November.

Image: Roman Gonzalez fighting Julio Cesar Martinez on March 5th

The 31-year-old Juan ‘Gallo’ Estrada (42-3, 28 KOs) is having a difficult time bouncing back post-COVID, according to ESPN Deportes.

Estrada has reportedly had a hard time finding the energy required to prepare for his trilogy match with the former four division world champion ‘Chocolatito Gonzalez (50-3, 41 KOs).

Given how pushing it was for Estrada in his last fight against Gonzalez a year ago, he’s decided not to take the match at this time. In that fight, Estrada won a controversial 12 round split decision against Chocolatito, but the boxing world saw it as a clear victory for the Nicaraguan superstar.

Roman showed once again that he was the better fighter than Estrada, but the judges in Texas saw it differently.

Rey Martinez saves the event

Moving Rey Martinez into the main event to face Chocolatito Gonzalez on March 5th saves the DAZN event, preventing it from being pushed off that date. It was fortunate for the streaming giant and Chocolatito that Rey Martinez was already training and available to step in and replace ‘Gallo’ Estrada.

Chocolatito Gonzalez will be coming off a year layoff when he steps into the ring to fight the young gun Martinez on March 5th.

In Chocolatito’s last fight against Juan Estrada on March 13th, 2021, he threw over 1000 punches, nailing the Mexican star repeatedly with powerful combinations at the American  Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.

Surprisingly, the judges gave ‘Gallo’ Estrada the victory by a 12 round split decision by the following scores:

  • 117-111 – Estrada
  • 115-113 – Estrada
  • 115-113 – Chocolatito

Dan Ambrose had Chocolatito winning 116-112, but he fought well enough to deserve an even more comprehensive score of 117-111.

Estrada was overmatched completely in that fight, and it was like a replay of their 2012 contest in which Chocolatito dominated, easily winning a 12 round unanimous decision.

“An official announcement from the organizers would be expected,” said Salvador Rodriguez to ESPN Deportes on the Chocolatito vs. Rey Martinez fight.

“The fight would have been agreed at 115 pounds, the Super flyweight category, and also confirm if the venue continues to be San Diego, California, or decide to make any changes.”

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