All that is left for Juan Francisco Estrada and Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez is to officially make weight on the eve of fight night.
The pair of junior bantamweight title claimants have complied with all pre-fight safety weight checks ahead of their long-anticipated championship rematch. Both boxers were well within the accepted limit seven days out from their March 13 DAZN headliner, which comes with the WBC and WBA 115-pound titles on the line.
Per WBC rules, participants are required to weigh no heavier than 3% above the contracted limit for a sanctioned fight at the seven-day mark. Estrada (41-3, 28KOs) weighed 118 pounds at that point, while Gonzalez (50-2, 41KOs) checked in at 118.2 points. The maximum allowable limit is 119 pounds, rounded up from 3% more than the 115-pound divisional limit.
The gentle weight cuts were on pace from where both boxers were at the 14-day point, where they were required to weigh no heavier than 121 pounds. Estrada was 120 pounds one week ago, while Gonzalez was 120.6 pounds.
Neither boxer has a history of missing weight, nor is It expected to be an issue at Friday’s weigh-in ahead of their rematch which will take place at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
Estrada will attempt the third defense of his World junior bantamweight championship since claiming the crown in April 2019. The feat came in another celebrated rematch, as the Hermosillo, Mexico native became a two-division champion following a 12-round decision win over Thailand’s Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. Estrada suffered a narrow points loss to the hard-hitting Thai in their Feb. 2018 championship clash before gaining revenge 14 months later.
In his most recent start, Estrada—in yet another rematch—climbed off of the canvas to drop and stop former WBC titlist Carlos Cuadras in the 11th round of their unforgettable thriller last October in Mexico City.
The same show saw Gonzalez make the first defense of the WBA title in a 12-round decision over Israel Gonzalez. The fight came eight months after becoming a two-time 115-pound titlist, with the legendary four-division champ turning back the clock in a 9th round knockout of unbeaten Kal Yafai last February in Frisco, Texas.
For Gonzalez, the win over Yafai was his first at the title level since dethroning Cuadras in their Sept. 2016 WBC 115-pound title fight to become a four-division champ. Gonzalez was also unbeaten and the recognized pound-for-pound king at the time, though 2017 proved disastrous to the Nicaraguan. Back-to-back losses to Sor Rungvisai stripped Gonzalez of his aura of invincibility, more so in the frightening 4th round knockout he suffered in their Sept. 2017 rematch.
Four wins have since followed for Gonzalez, who enters his 20th career major title fight (excluding interim titles). Included among the lot is his 12-round decision win over Estrada in their Nov. 2012 war, which marked the final defense of Gonzalez’s junior flyweight title reign after having previously served as a strawweight titlist. His next title fight wouldn’t come for another 22 months, having established himself as a legitimate flyweight by the time he stopped lineal champion Akira Yaegashi in the 9th round of their Sept. 2014 fight.
By that point, Estrada was an established unified flyweight titlist. Estrada achieved that status in a 12-round win over Brian Viloria in April 2013, one fight after the loss to Gonzalez and making six successful defenses before moving up to junior bantamweight in 2016.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox