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Roman Gonzalez Expects Tough Fight in HBO Debut

By Francisco Salazar

Finally!

While that phrase could describe the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight coming together after five years of negotiations and something called the 'Cold War,' the same could be said regarding Roman Gonzalez fighting on a premium network.

After years of fighting in his native Nicaragua and overseas in Japan, fight fans will get to see Gonzalez fight live on HBO.

So long are the days fight fans would have to find a suitable stream to watch online or wait a few days for a Roman Gonzalez fight to appear on YouTube.

Gonzalez will be fighting Edgar Sosa in a twelve round bout on May 16 at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. The bout will precede the HBO televised main event between WBA/IBO/WBC-interim middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin and Boxcino tournament winner Willie Monroe.

If boxing fans have not watched a Roman Gonzalez (42-0, 36KOs) fight, they are in for a treat. Gonzalez has mostly dominated the junior flyweight and flyweight divisions with speed, power, and a technical prowess that few fighters in boxing have today.

The 27-year-old Gonzalez is at the apex of his career, along with his popularity in Nicaragua and those of Nicaraguan descent who reside in Southern California. Dozens were present in April of 2012 in Pomona, east of Los Angeles, when Gonzalez stopped Raul Garcia.

Hundreds cheered when he and Juan Francisco Estrada engaged in a brutal back and forth battle in November of that year at the Sports Arena in Los Angeles. Gonzalez would win a close unanimous decision.

With all that he has achieved, it all seems easy, right? Wealth, popularity, and world titles. But Gonzalez does not like to think that way. His explosive power in the ring is equaled to the humbleness he carries outside of the ring.

"I always enter the ring as if I was fighting for a world title for the first time," Gonzalez told a small pool of reporters on Wednesday in Los Angeles. "There are going to be more difficult fights and we have to work harder. I love boxing and there will be compromises in the future. I don't let success get to my head."

Which is why he may be ignoring some who believe Gonzalez will have an easy time with Sosa on May 16. A former world titleholder who secured wins over Brian Viloria, Giovani Segura, and Ulises 'Archie' Solis, Sosa will be one of the more dangerous fighters of Gonzalez's successful career.

Some wonder whether Sosa may be on the downside of his career, considering he has 60 fights and the wear and tear has begun to show. But Gonzalez scoffs at the notion, believing Sosa will be at his best come fight night.

"He's a strong rival," said Gonzalez, who will be defending his WBC flyweight title. "I know him very well. I've sparred with him many times. There's no rival too small. He throws solid combinations and I know we're going to give the public a good show."

While another win could add to the growing mystique and cult following of Gonzalez, it could add to the debate as to who is the best Nicaraguan fighter.

Some who have followed boxing may not be familiar with the likes of Rosendo Alvarez or Alexis Arguello. Ironically, Arguello became a very important part of Gonzalez's career in the ring, by not only giving him advice, but also being in his corner.

Unfortunately, Arguello, who later became a politician in Nicaragua, committed suicide in 2009. The death brought sadness to Gonzalez, considering it was Arguello who gave Gonzalez the nickname of 'Chocolatito.'

"My father boxed. He was known as Chocolate. One day Arguello referred to my Dad as Chocolate and to me as Chocolatito."

"I would always listen to Arguello. In fact, I still hear him in my corner when I fight. I would always listen to him."

While it may be humbling for Gonzalez to hear the comparisons between him and Arguello, as far as Gonzalez is concerned, Arguello will always be the best Nicaraguan fighter.

"They've always compared me to Arguello, but Arguello is number one. Even if I win five world titles, Arguello will always be number one. (Alexis) Arguello. (Rosendo) Alvrarez. Every fighter has their own legacy. I just ask God to bless and take care of my family."

One would hope Gonzalez appearing on a premium network will not be a one-time thing. There are possible fights out there with the likes of Brian Viloria, a rematch with Juan Francisco Estrada, Amnat Ruenroeng, or Juan Carlos Reveco.

Just like Mayweather-Pacquiao became a reality, so would numerous appearances on HBO (if the money is right) by Gonzalez.

While boxing fans let out an emphatic "Finally" regarding Gonzalez fighting on HBO, they could eventually say 'when?' if the popular Nicaraguan becomes as a mainstay on the network like Gennady Golovkin.

And that is a good thing.

Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Salazar also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper, RingTV, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing 

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Aztekkas on 04-02-2015

[QUOTE=thecomedian2;15527964]He Beat Estrada, Deal With it Turd..! :bottle:[/QUOTE] :lol1: Yup, continue proving me right :)

Comment by thecomedian2 on 04-02-2015

[QUOTE=Aztekkas;15527932]Great points. You further displayed your stupidity and limited knowledge regarding the weight division aside from one name. Being able to successfully prove so much within one sentence is truly and outstanding feat.[/QUOTE] He Beat Estrada, Deal With it Turd..!…

Comment by Aztekkas on 04-02-2015

[QUOTE=thecomedian2;15527857]he beat Estrada Deal With it.. :bottle:[/QUOTE] Great points. You further displayed your stupidity and limited knowledge regarding the weight division aside from one name. Being able to successfully prove so much within one sentence is truly and outstanding feat.

Comment by Aztekkas on 04-02-2015

[QUOTE=crold1;15527844]Whereas I had no issue with Estrada. He fought a non-title fight to stay busy off a big fight with Segura; no biggie. Last week, he was going soft anyways but he got a replacement of a replacement. It happens.…

Comment by Hougigo on 04-02-2015

[QUOTE=crold1;15527499]Why would they? Who cares? It was a stay busy, NON-TITLE fight to make a home appearance. Chavez used to take fights like that just to kill time between title fights and let the fans see him back home. Lots…

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