Juan Francisco Estrada understands that he is obligated to fight Srisaket Sor Rungvisai next.
Sor Rungvisai, the mandatory challenger for Estrada’s WBC super flyweight title, stepped aside to allow Estrada to fight Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez again Saturday night in Dallas. If Estrada could choose his next opponent, however, he’d pick a third fight against Gonzalez over a rubber match with Sor Rungvisai.
“I definitely would want a [third] fight with Roman Gonzalez,” Estrada stated during a post-fight press conference following his controversial split-decision defeat of Gonzalez. “I’d prefer it over the Sor Rungvisai fight because [Sor Rungvisai is] more complicated and because he’s a lefty. But I’d surely wanna fight Roman Gonzalez again.”
Estrada defeated Sor Rungvisai by unanimous decision in their 12-round rematch in April 2019 to win the WBC 115-pound championship. Thailand’s Sor Rungvisai (50-5-1, 43 KOs) beat Estrada (42-3, 28 KOs) by majority decision in their first fight in February 2018 at The Forum in Inglewood, California, also the site of their rematch.
The Estrada-Gonzalez rematch was such a fantastic action fight, there figures to be high demand from fans and DAZN for an immediate third bout between them. That’s the route Eddie Hearn, whose company co-promotes Mexico’s Estrada, would like to take, yet he realizes Estrada’s mandatory defense against Sor Rungvisai is due.
Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing also promotes Sor Rungvisai.
“Well, we’ll sit down with Juan and the team, Latin Sports and Zanfer [Promotions],” said Hearn, who confirmed Gonzalez does not have a rematch clause in his contract. “And ultimately, the fans and the broadcasters normally decide what fight they wanna see. There’s gonna be huge demand from people to see the third fight [between Estrada and Gonzalez]. But he also has a [WBC] belt and he has a mandatory challenger. For me, I would like to see the third fight straight away. But it’s about the deal, it’s about the money, it’s about what Juan Estrada wants. And tonight, he’s the champion, and he gets to call the shots.”
Estrada acknowledged Gonzalez deserves a third bout because Estrada expected their rematch to result in a draw.
Instead, judges Carlos Sucre (117-111) and David Sutherland (115-113) scored their fight for Estrada. Sucre surprisingly scored nine rounds of a very competitive 12-rounder for Estrada, who retained his WBC crown and took the WBA belt from Gonzalez (50-3, 41 KOs).
Judge Jesse Reyes scored Gonzalez the winner, 115-113.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.