When Juan Francisco Estrada and Roman Gonzalez fought for the first time in 2012, the boxing industry and the streaming media world were a whole lot different than they are today. 

That year, the Olympics streamed on YouTube for the first time, an upstart called Spotify was entering its second year, and for the first time, according to CNN, Americans paid to watch more movies online than they did on DVD. 

In terms of boxing broadcasts, HBO was still the industry leader with both Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao under contract, and ESPN still aired Friday Night Fights. Neither of those entities exist anymore. 

Of the 18 fighters ranked atop their divisions in Ring Magazine’s Year-End rankings in 2012, eight are retired from boxing completely.

One rare constant since then has been Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, and his old rival Juan Francisco Estrada. Saturday night’s main event on DAZN, a rematch between the two, felt like a celebration for the hardcore boxing fans who knew how special Chocolatito and Estrada were well before the mainstream even knew their names. 

Prior to 2012, those who wanted to watch Chocolatito and Estrada had their own battle to go through. Finding a stream of Nicaraguan, Japanese or Mexican television wasn’t as seamless as it is today. If you were lucky enough to find a 360p quality feed of a fight, you had to enter the shadowy alleys of the internet to do so. Otherwise, you were beholden to a charitable message board user somewhere who might upload the fight to one of many now-defunct file-sharing services so you could physically download the fight. 

In retrospect, Estrada-Gonzalez I represented a turning point in the boxing landscape. The fight aired on WealthTV, an opulence-centric specialty channel that had a brief run regularly airing live fights in the early 2010s. At the time, the outlet offered a one dollar option to stream the channel for a month. For die-hards, the ability to watch Chocolatito on a legal, stable, high quality stream with English commentary was like a gift from the heavens. Not only were streaming options for high profile fights scarce (GoFightLive was the industry leader for streaming fights at the time, but mainly aired regional-level cards), but seeing fighters in the sport’s lightest weight classes on television at all in America was almost unheard of at the time. 

Through the years, lighter weight fighters like Ricardo Lopez made their way onto premium cable airwaves, but almost exclusively as an undercard attraction, even though Lopez was one of the very best fighters on the planet for the majority of his career. Mark Johnson and Johnny Tapia enjoyed storied careers that were often televised, but by the 2010s, anything contested at 115 pounds and below was mostly relegated to deep pay-per-view undercards where broadcasters had less veto power or at least interest in using it. 

The November 2012 card with Estrada-Gonzalez I also featured another Fight of the Year caliber brawl between Brian Viloria and Hernan Marquez for the unified flyweight title. It was lauded as the card of the year in boxing circles, and may have also been the awakening for the American televised boxing industry and its more casual viewers to what they were missing. 

Three years later, Chocolatito debuted on HBO at Madison Square Garden. Two years after that, HBO aired its first of three Tom Loeffler-promoted Superfly events specifically highlighting the super flyweight division. 

This past weekend, Chocolatito and Estrada fought for a second time in the main event on a major network that could be streamed in high definition without risking a dozen trojan horse viruses. Much like the first fight, it was an astonishing display of combination punching and boxing acumen that will almost certainly get serious consideration for Fight of the Year. Estrada was awarded a split decision by scores of 115-113, 117-111 and 115-113 (for Gonzalez). The 117-111 scorecard for Estrada in particular has been universally panned (and the judge who issued it, Carlos Sucre, has been temporarily suspended by the WBA), and the decision is being debated, but the majority of online discourse surrounding the fight has rightfully been centered around how magnificent the action itself was. 

Gonzalez, Estrada, and their contemporaries/common opponents Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and Carlos Cuadras have been compared to the Four Kings: Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns and Roberto Duran. They might not quite compare in terms of overall accomplishments (though when it’s all said and done, Gonzalez in particular will have a resume to match up with almost anyone) and certainly not in notoriety. But in terms of sustained excellence and rivalry over a lengthy period of time, for a foursome, they are the very best this generation has to offer. The four have now fought one another ten times, and not one of them has been a dud. 

The first bout between Gonzalez and Estrada may have been the best of them all, but their most recent one isn’t far from the top either. 

If there is any silver lining to be found in a truly bad scorecard like 117-111 for Estrada, it is that it at least provides a good reason to have Gonzalez and Estrada fight one another at least one more time. It’s hard to imagine a combination of two fighters active in boxing today who could produce a better quality fight than this pair of future Hall of Famers just did nearly a decade after they wowed us for the first time. More exciting fights may happen this year—ones with unexpected momentum swings and knockdowns, incidents of circumstance that don’t necessarily have to do with the quality of the fighters themselves. But over the last ten years, in terms of action and skill level, boxing hasn’t been much better than the 24 rounds between Gonzalez and Estrada. 

That much hasn’t changed since 2012. They’re still two of the finest fighters in the world, and they’re still worth going way out of your way to see them fight one another.