By Keith Idec
Juan Francisco Estrada lost a decision to Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, who was brutally knocked out by Srisaket Sor Rungvisai on Saturday night.
Estrada reminded boxing fans after his own victory on the Sor Rungvisai-Gonzalez undercard those results mean nothing when it comes to his upcoming fight against Sor Rungvisai. By edging Carlos Cuadras in a competitive, compelling 12-round elimination match, Estrada earned a mandatory shot at Sor Rungvisai, presumably in the powerful southpaw’s next fight.
“Boxing is all about styles,” Estrada told BoxingScene.com through a translator Saturday night. “Rungvisai has a very difficult style, but Cuadras beat Rungvisai. Chocolatito beat Cuadras, so you can never tell, because they’re all different styles, how they’re gonna match up in the fight. But I feel that I have a complete style and I’m confident that I can beat Rungvisai.”
Thailand’s Sor Rungvisai upset Gonzalez by majority decision in their 12-round fight March 18 at Madison Square Garden, but the WBC super flyweight champion left absolutely no doubt about his superiority over the former pound-for-pound king by dropping Gonzalez twice in the fourth round and knocking him out at StubHub Center in Carson, California. In the opener of HBO’s “Boxing After Dark” tripleheader, Estrada overcame a slow start to knock down Cuadras in the 10th round and won a unanimous decision.
HBO’s ring announcer, Michael Buffer, originally announced the winner as “Carlos Estrada,” which led Cuadras (36-2-1, 27 KOs) to believe he had won the closely contested bout. After conferring with California State Athletic Commission officials at ringside, however, Buffer corrected his mistake and announced that Estrada (36-2, 25 KOs) won their 12-round, 115-pound WBC elimination match.
Judges Tim Cheatham, Max DeLuca and Edward Hernandez Sr. scored the fight identically, 114-113 for Estrada. The fight was even on each of the judges’ scorecards, but the knockdown Estrada scored by landing a right hand in the 10th round was the difference in the result.
“Whenever you have a fight between two Mexicans, it can always turn into a war, which it did,” Estrada said. “It was one of my toughest fights, one of the toughest fights of my career. I don’t know if it was the toughest, but it’s up there.”
Cuadras controlled the early part of their fight, but Estrada made adjustments and came back to win.
“I always like to come out and study my opponent,” Estrada said. “It’s always been my style. I take the first part of the fight to come up with the game plan, and it was the same way this time. I take a while to figure him out and then start taking him apart.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.