By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Roman Gonzalez chose Srisaket Sor Rungvisai over Carlos Cuadras as his next opponent.
Gonzalez could’ve met Mexico’s Cuadras in an immediate rematch March 18 at Madison Square Garden. The 115-pound champion nicknamed “Chocolatito” instead opted to defend his WBC world super flyweight title against Thailand’s Rungvisai on the Gennady Golovkin-Daniel Jacobs undercard.
Golovkin-Jacobs and Gonzalez-Rungvisai, which was officially announced Tuesday morning before a press conference at The Garden, will be two of the four fights HBO Pay-Per-View will televise that night ($64.95 in HD; $54.95 in SD). The other two bouts haven’t been finalized.
The WBC has mandated that the winner between Nicaragua’s Gonzalez (46-0, 38 KOs) and Thailand’s Rungvisai (41-4-1, 38 KOs) must face Cuadras (35-1-1, 27 KOs) in his next fight.
“Srisaket, even though he may not be that well-known here in America, people are saying he’s much more dangerous than Cuadras,” said Tom Loeffler, managing director for K2 Promotions (Golovkin’s promoter). “And we saw that Chocolatito had a very tough fight in winning the title from Cuadras. So that’ll be both Gennady’s and Chocolatito’s toughest fights of their career.”
Cuadras gave Gonzalez a tough time when they fought September 10 at The Forum in Inglewood, California. Gonzalez won their 12-round championship match by unanimous decision, but the fight featured back-and-forth action and both boxers fought through cuts to their faces.
One judge, Max DeLuca, scored their contest close (115-113). The other two judges – Robert Hecko (116-112) and Cathy Leonard (117-111) – gave Gonzalez credit for a wider win on their scorecards.
According to Loeffler, Gonzalez could’ve faced Cuadras again on the Golovkin-Jacobs undercard.
“Honestly, the WBC had mandated the winner of the [Gonzalez-Cuadras] fight had to fight his mandatory in the next fight,” Loeffler said. “But they said if they wanted to do the rematch, they would’ve allowed that. But Chocolatito had preferred to fight the mandatory. And then the winner of this fight has to fight Cuadras in the next fight.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.