Ring Magazine titleholder Juan Francisco Estrada will once again meet Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez in a rubber match for the vacant WBC super flyweight title on Saturday night, as both fighters have one win a piece in their trilogy. The title bout will headline a DAZN card from the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona.
This fight was originally supposed to take place in March, but Estrada wound up pulling out of the bout after falling ill with COVID-19. Chocolatito fought Julio Cesar Gonzalez on that date instead, while Estrada fought Argi Cortes later on in September.
Both Gonzalez and Estrada first met 10 years ago, back in November 2012, as then WBA flyweight champ Gonzalez defended his belt successfully via unanimous decision. The pair met again years later in 2021, this time with Estrada earning a controversial decision win after 12 rounds.
Estrada (43-3, 28 KO) is perhaps in the middle of the best stretch of his career, with notable wins over former champs Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, Chocolatito and Carlos Cuadras. Since his most recent loss, his first fight with Sor Rungvisai, the Mexican titleholder has won his last seven fights over the course of four years, with three of those coming inside the distance.
Former “Pound-for-Pound” king Gonzalez (51-3, 41 KO) hasn’t been able to quite reach the heights he had since before his pair of losses to Sor Rungvisai in 2017. He he’s still managed to put on a decent run however, capturing the WBA super flyweight title in 2020 after stopping Kal Yafai in the ninth. Since that devastating knockout loss to Sor Rungvisai, Chocolatito has won five out of his last six fights, with three of those coming by knockout or stoppage.
Saturday night should determine the winner of one of the best all-time rivalries in the lower weight classes of boxing. Chocolatito will be looking to establish himself as the better of the two fighters and is hoping to take one step closer to the status he reached many years ago. Meanwhile, Estrada is in his prime and will be looking to show his Nicaraguan rival that this is his time now.
Fighter’s Form (last 5 fights):
Julio Cesar Martinez - WIN by UD (118-110, 117-111, 116-112)
Juan Francisco Estrada - LOSS by SD (117-111, 115-113, 113-115) - 13/03/2021
Israel Gonzalez - WIN by UD (118-110, 117-111, 116-112) - 23/10/2020
Kal Yafai - WIN by TKO 9 - 29/02/2020
Diomel Diocos - WIN by TKO 2 - 23/12/2019
Juan Francisco Estrada
Argi Cortes - WIN by UD (115-112, 115-112, 114-113) - 03/09/2022
Roman Gonzalez - WIN by UD (117-111, 115-113, 113-115) - 13/03/2021
Carlos Cuadras - WIN by TKO 11 - 23/10/2020
Dewayne Beamon - WIN by TKO 9 - 24/08/2019
Srisaket Sor Rungvisai - WIN by UD (116-112, 115-113, 115-113) - 26/04/2019
Date: December 3rd, 2022
Time: 1:00 am (GMT), 5:00pm (PT), 8:00pm (ET)
Venue: Desert Diamond Arena, Glendale, Arizona, USA
Elsewhere on the card
In the co-main event, WBC flyweight titleholder Julio Cesar Martinez (18-2, 14 KO) will defend his belt against former Spanish Olympian Samuel Carmona (8-0, 4 KO). Also featured is Joselito Velazquez (15-0-1, 10 KO) taking on former titleholder Cristofer Rosales (34-6-2, 21 KO) in a 10-round flyweight battle.