SAN ANTONIO – The much-anticipated rematch between Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez and Juan Francisco Estrada has a date.
Promoter Eddie Hearn announced during DAZN’s stream of the Canelo Alvarez-Callum Smith card at Alamodome that Gonzalez and Estrada will meet for the second time March 13. The venue has not been chosen, but Hearn wants to bring their 115-pound championship bout to a site where fans can attend.
Gonzalez defeated Estrada by unanimous decision in their first fight – a 12-round, 108-pound title bout in November 2012 at the L.A. Sports Arena in Los Angeles. Gonzalez later became boxing’s pound-for-pound king, but Estrada also has since established himself as one of the best fighters in the sport.
Mexico’s Estrada, 30, and Nicaragua’s Gonzalez, 33, secured their place in their expected rematch October 23, when they won fights on the same card at TV Azteca’s Studios in Mexico City.
Estrada (41-3, 28 KOs) retained his WBC super flyweight title by stopping another rival, countryman Carlos Cuadras, in the 11th round of their rematch. Cuadras scored a knockdown during the third round, but Estrada recovered, took control of their bout and dropped Cuadras twice during the 11th round before it was stopped.
Estrada edged Cuadras by one point on all three scorecards in their first fight, but their second encounter, while entertaining, wasn’t as competitive as that September 2017 battle at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
“This is going to be a special fight,” said Hearn. “It’s been a long time coming but both men are in their prime now, with Juan Francisco serving up a dramatic stoppage win in his fight of the year contender with Cuadras and Chocolatito rolling back the years with his clinical KO win over Yafai and looking razor sharp against Gonzalez.
“Estrada is the number one in the division but Chocolatito will be looking to repeat his win – the winner will take a massive step to becoming undisputed and I hope that we’re able to have fans in attendance when we chose the venue to host this must-see fight.
Estrada also became the first opponent to stop the 32-year-old Cuadras inside the distance. Cuadras (39-4-1, 27 KOs) had lost only a pair of 12-round unanimous decisions to Estrada and Gonzalez and a 10-round majority decision to McWilliams Arroyo before Estrada defeated him by technical knockout.
Gonzalez (50-2, 41 KOs) successfully defended his WBA “super” 115-pound crown on the Estrada-Cuadras undercard. The four-division champion out-pointed Mexico’s Israel Gonzalez (25-4, 11 KOs) by unanimous decision in that bout (118-110, 117-111, 116-112).
“Estrada vs. Chocolatito is an all-action rematch many years in the making,” said Joseph Markowski, DAZN EVP. “After closing 2020 strong on DAZN, we can’t wait for subscribers to enjoy the terrific schedule we’re building for early 2021 as well.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.