LOS ANGELES, September 10, 2016 – The roar of the crowd could be heard all the way from Inglewood to Mexico City and Managua, Nicaragua as Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (46-0, 38 KOs) of Nicaragua and Carlos “Principe” Cuadras of Mexico (35-1-1, 27 KOs) entered the ring at The Forum in Los Angeles.
The crowd of 6,714 sounded far larger as the two determined super flyweights battled to the end of 12 tough rounds, with Gonzalez prevailing over Cuadras in a unanimous decision. Judges’ scores were 117-111, 116-112, and 115-113.
The action was the equal of the enthusiastic reception, starting fast and never letting up. By the end of 12 rounds, the pair had thrown nearly 1,900 punches in 12 rounds, with 507 of them power punches.
Cuadras appeared to the eye to be the busier fighter, but many of his impressive looking flurries didn’t all make contact. Gonzalez pressed forward, and the pair frequently flew across the ring, throwing punches all the way. Gonzalez mixed up his shots, using effective body work to try and slow Cuadras down.
Several times it appeared Gonzalez had Cuadras in trouble, especially in rounds four, seven, and 11. Cuadras proved his toughness by recovering every time.
Cuadras in turn landed multiple hard punches, but he wasn’t able to wobble Gonzalez in the same way. But the damage accumulated on Gonzalez’ face, and his right eye was badly swollen by the end of 12 rounds. Cuadras also suffered a cut just above the eye; his corner managed it well.
By the end, both fighters had given all they had to offer. Gonzalez had the edge in power, accuracy and ring generalship, but Cuadras was his equal in aggression and heart. Buoyed by a fully involved crowd, there is nothing more exciting than an action packed fight.
With the victory, Gonzalez surpassed his personal idol and mentor, the great Nicaraguan Alexis Arguello, to become the first boxer from Nicaragua to win titles in four weight divisions: minimumweight, light flyweight, flyweight, and now super flyweight.
After the fight, Gonzalez said despite the records, he would never consider himself a better fighter than Arguello. “He will always be number one. He was my teacher and I am his son. I am following his legacy,” said Gonzalez.
Gonzalez admitted it was the toughest fight of his career. “The important thing is, I’m all right. I’m always thinking about my family and my children. God gave me the strength and I won.”
Cuadras said after the bout he believed he had won. “It was close but I think I won, he’s never been hit that much in his career, just look at his face. He is relentless; he didn’t get tired all night. His defense was better than I expected. He was stopping my shots with his arms and coming right back with his own punches.”
Sitting ringside watching the fight was undefeated Japanese WBO super flyweight champion Naoya Inoue, a 23-year-old phenom who won his 11th bout and eighth by knockout on Monday. Would Gonzalez consider fighting the man nicknamed “Monster”? “With pleasure, it would be an honor to fight Inoue,” said Gonzalez.
Cuadras earned many new fans and a great deal of respect for his performance. Fans will welcome the return of Cuadras to the ring, and perhaps the possibility of a rematch with Gonzalez.
It’s a mystery after watching a fight of such quality why the smaller weight divisions still struggle to draw a fan base. Thanks to the performance of the men tonight, this is changing for the better one fight at a time.
The HBO broadcast kicked off with a fight featuring all-action entertainment. In their first bout in April at the LA Fight Club, junior middleweights Jesus Soto Karass of Mexico (28-10-4, 18 KOs) and Yoshihiro Kamegai of Japan (26-3-2, 23 KOs) fought to a draw. It was so entertaining and action packed, the pair agreed to a rematch on the Gonzalez vs. Cuadras undercard.
If these two weren’t in a boxing ring, they’d both be in jail charged with assault. As expected it was an all-offense fight. Head movement, foot movement, ring generalship? Nah, it was all about the action. Kamegai came out strong and landed the better shots, particularly his upper cuts. But what made this fight and its predecessor so amazing was the ability of both men to take it just as well as they dished it out.
Soto Karass leans forward and over, which made him a prime target for Kamegai’s upper cuts. In the seventh round, Kamegai blasted Soto Karass, and the veteran held on, seeming to be all be played out. Seconds later, Soto Karass turned the tables on Kamegai, and the Japanese veteran was the one in trouble. It was that sort of a fight.
Soto Karass rallied after being hurt several times, but in the eighth round, Soto Karass finally went down. He beat the count, and Jack Reiss gave him a good looking over. Soto Karass is a never say die fighter. He finished the round, but his corner wisely stopped the fight.
Between the two, 1,357 punches were thrown in just eight rounds.
American lightweight prospect Ryan “Blue Chip” Martin (16-0-0, 9 KOs) put on a solid performance in a unanimous decision over Cesar Villarraga of Colombia (9-2-0, 4 KOs). Martin dropped Villarrage to the canvas in the fight and dominated throughout all eight rounds.
After a clear victory winning all eight rounds, The Forum audience got a shock when the announcer said all three judges scored the bout 80-92 for Nancy Franco of Mexico (15-10-2, 4 KOs) over Los Angeles super flyweight sensation Seniesa Estrada (7-0, 1 KO). But seconds later, the announcer sheepishly corrected his Steve Harvey style mistake, and proclaimed Estrada the winner which was evident to all in attendance. Estrada continues to improve her skills and while she doesn’t have knockout power, there aren’t any weaknesses in her fight game.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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