by Ronnie Nathanielsz
World Boxing Council flyweight Champion, Roman “ Chocolatito” Gonzalez is getting ready to defend his title against former Oriental Pacific Boxing Federtation champion Rocky "The Road Warrior" Fuentes of the famed ALA Gym in the Philippines on November 22 in Japan.
The WBC reported that "right now Roman is working away at the 'Roger Deshon' Gym in Managua, Nicaragua, getting ready to defend his crown against Fuentes."
The World Boxing Council website quoted Gonzalez who said "“ Fuentes is a good and strong boxer. He knows how to move well inside the ring, he's skillful and a bit tricky. I don’t underestimate anyone, because all fighters want to be champions."
Gonzalez, the three-time world champion added, " Today more than ever I'm focused, and I am hopeful that God might allow me to cherish my championship for several more years.”
Gonzalez has indicated he is "keen to fight another bout with Mexican Juan Francisco “Gallo” Estrada, and then following that, to chalk up a spectacular defense on home turf."
ALA Promotions Michael Aldeguer said Fuentes who won the OPBF title with a majority decision over Masafumi Okuba in March 9, 2010 in Japan and successfully defended the title six times, four against Japanese challengers is popular among Japanese fight fans even as he predicted ” it 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.