By Miguel Rivera
The World Boxing Association has announced that Juan Francisco Estrada has officially vacated his flyweight belt. Estrada has been dealing with a bad hand injury which has kept him on the shelf since September 2015.
Estrada told BoxingScene.com a few days ago that his right hand was fully healed and he was ready to make his mandatory defense of the WBA title against Japan's Kazuto Ioka. Those plans have obviously changed.
According to the WBA, Estrada's promoter, Zanfer Promotions, sent them a letter on Wednesday which advised them of his decision to vacate. There was no specific reason given, other than Estrada is mulling his options for the future.
The 26-year-old Estrada (33-2, 24 KOs) is still the flyweight champion under the WBO. There are rumors in Mexico that he's likely going to vacate the WBO title as well, in order to move up in weight to the super flyweight division.
Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez, who won a war over Estrada in 2012 at junior flyweight, recently made the jump to super flyweight and captured the WBC title from Carlos Cuadras last Saturday night in Los Angeles. Estrada may be chasing the lucrative fight.
A rematch between Gonzalez and Estrada is one of the biggest fights to be made in the lower weight divisions. HBO is very interested in the fight, but both combatants have been very vocal about receiving seven figure purses for the rematch - which may cause an issue with HBO picking up the fight.