The most anticipated bout on the current boxing schedule remains on course.
Juan Francisco Estrada and Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez both came within the tolerable limit for the most recent safety weight check ahead of their March 13 WBC/WBA junior bantamweight title unification rematch. Per WBC terms, participants are required to weigh within 5% of the contracted weight limit 14 days out from fight night.
Estrada (41-3, 28KOs) checked in at a trim 120 pounds, while Gonzalez (50-2, 41KOs) weighed 120.6 pounds. Both boxers were required to weigh no more than 121 pounds at this point in training camp for their upcoming DAZN headliner which will air live from American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
The long-awaited rematch between two of the sport’s best little big men comes more than eight years after their fantastic Nov. 2012 war. Gonzalez claimed a 12-round decision win in what marked the final defense of his junior flyweight title reign, which followed a lengthy stay as a strawweight titlist.
Both boxers have since claimed title wins at flyweight and junior bantamweight. Estrada would become the unified WBA/WBO flyweight titlist in his very next fight, scoring a 12-round split decision victory over Brian Viloria in April 2013. Five title defenses followed, though unfortunately none in the form of a rematch with Gonzalez despite overlap in their divisional title reigns.
Gonzalez claimed the lineal flyweight championship with a 9th round stoppage of Akira Yaegashi in Sept. 2014. Four defenses followed before moving up in weight to outpoint unbeaten WBC junior bantamweight titlist Carlos Cuadras in Sept. 2016, further solidifying his credentials as the sport’s unofficial pound-for-pound king.
That run came to a crashing halt following back-to-back losses to Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in 2017, including a terrifying 4th round knockout in their Sept. 2017 rematch. Sor Rungvisai would simultaneously defend the WBC belt and claim the lineal junior bantamweight championship in a Feb. 2018 win over Estrada, who in turn outpointed the hard-punching Thai fighter in their April 2019 rematch.
Estrada, 30, Hermosillo, Mexico, has since made two successful defenses, including an off-the-canvas 11th round knockout of Cuadras in their rematch last October in Mexico City. The same show saw Gonzalez outpoint Mexico’s Israel Goinzalez (no relation) in the first defense of his second 115-pound title reign. The legendary 33-year old from Managua, Nicaragua claimed the WBA strap with a 9th round knockout of unbeaten Kal Yafai last February in Frisco, Texas.
Estrada and Gonzalez will also be required to weigh within 3% of the contracted limit at the seven-day mark before making the 115-pound limit at the official pre-fight weigh-in.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox