Roman Gonzalez believes he has already beaten Juan Francisco Estrada twice.
Boxing’s former pound-for-pound king still would welcome a third fight against his Mexican rival. Gonzalez, more commonly known by his nickname, “Chocolatito,” might have to wait to encounter Estrada a third time because Estrada is supposed to make a mandatory defense of his WBC super flyweight title next against Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.
That’s fine by the 33-year-old Gonzalez (50-3, 41 KOs), who defeated Estrada (42-3, 28 KOs) by unanimous decision in their 12-round, 108-pound championship match in November 2012 in Los Angeles.
“I won both of them,” Gonzalez told DAZN’s Chris Mannix following his 12-round, split-decision defeat to Estrada on Saturday night. “Whatever [Estrada] wants, we’ll do it. I’m very happy with my performance and the crowd enjoyed the fight.”
The COVID-restricted crowd at American Airlines Center in Dallas seemed to thoroughly enjoy their back-and-forth fight.
Estrada and Gonzalez combined to throw more punches than any two combatants in the history of 115-pound bouts tracked by CompuBox. The sport’s unofficial punch-counter credited Nicaragua’s Gonzalez for landing 74 more punches overall than Mexico’s Estrada (391-of-1,317 to 314-of-1,212).
Two of the judges still scored their action-packed clash for the 30-year-old Estrada.
Carlos Sucre stunningly scored nine rounds for Estrada (117-111), who won seven rounds according to David Sutherland (115-113). Jesse Reyes scored seven rounds for Gonzalez, 115-113.
“It was a better fight than the first one,” Gonzalez said. “I felt strong, and I felt I won. In the last round, I gave it all. It was a great round. The result is what God wanted. And I’m happy because I’m going back home to see my family.”
His victory over Gonzalez enabled Estrada to avenge all three of his professional defeats. Gonzalez, then undefeated, beat Estrada on all three scorecards in their fight for Gonzalez’s WBA light flyweight title eight years ago at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena (118-110, 116-112, 116-112).
“Honestly, I thought it was going to be a draw because it was such a close fight,” Estrada said regarding their rematch in his post-fight press conference. “I don’t know what the judges thought about the fight, but we were able to win. We knew it was going to be a war and, like I said, Roman Gonzalez deserves a rematch.”
Eddie Hearn, Estrada’s co-promoter, expressed interest during the post-fight press conference in putting together a rubber match between Estrada and Gonzalez. Hearn also acknowledged that Estrada’s mandated defense against Thailand’s Sor Rungvisai (50-5-1, 43 KOs) might need to occur before a third Estrada-Gonzalez bout.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.
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