By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Former Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation flyweight champion Rocky “The Road Warrior” Fuentes gets a huge break when he fights undefeated Nicaraguan flyweight champion Roman “Chocolotito” Gonzalez for the WBC flyweight title on November 22 in Japan.
ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer confirmed the report in a conversation with BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard/Viva Sports and said the offer had come from Teiken Promotions of Akihiko Honda who manages Gonzalez.
Aldeguer said Fuentes, who won the OPBF title with a majority decision over Masafumi Okuba on March 9, 2010 in Japan and successfully defended the title six times, four against Japanese challengers - was popular among Japanese fight fans.
Aldeguer who is scheduled to leave for Carson City, California on Thursday to watch the featherweight unification battle between WBA super champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire and the heavy-handed unbeaten Jamaican Nicholas Walters predicted the Fuentes-Gonzalez clash” would be a great fight.”
Well known American strength and conditioning coach Nick Curson told the Standard that Gonzalez who sparred with Fuentes in preparation for his title fight against WBC flyweight champion Akira Yaegashi from whom he won the title with a 9th round TKO probably believes that he could handle Fuentes who, according to Curson, was not in good shape when he sparred with Gonzalez.
Curson told us that “with the improvements Rocky has made it will make a big difference.”
Curson who is also working with WBO light flyweight champion Donnie Nietes and Milan Melindo who has dropped down to light flyweight and undefeated Prince Albert Pagara said Gonzalez will face “a very different Rocky Fuentes who will give him a very rough fight and could pull off an upset.”
He said that in the past Fuentes “could never compete with Nietes and Melindo in sparring but its different now and Rocky looks good.”
Curson said if Gonzalez “makes one wrong move, the fight could be over” although he conceded “it works both ways.”
The 28 year old Fuentes who is ranked No. 8 by the WBC lost by a unanimous twelve round decision when he faced Thailand’s Amnat Ruenroeng for the vacant IBF flyweight title last January 22 in Thailand while Gonzalez who moved up from light flyweight where he successfully defended the WBA title eight times to flyweight where he won the title with a 9th round TKO over Japan’s Akira Yaegeshi who he dropped in rounds 3 and 9 to score a rousing victory and push his unbeaten streak to 40-0 with 34 knockouts.
Fuentes has a record of 35-7-2 with 20 knockouts.