Estrada Gonzalez 2 rematch finally reality on Saturday, 8PM ET
SAN DIEGO, Calif., March 12, 2021 – For sheer boxing excitement, the super flyweight division delivers more action per pound than boxing fans have a right to expect. Exhibit A: Estrada Gonzalez 2. We rest our case.
Reigning WBC World Super Flyweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada of Mexico (41-3, 28 KOs) and WBA World Super Flyweight champion Roman Gonzalez of Nicaragua (49-2, 41 KOs) is ready for a rematch eight-plus years in the making after a close fight won by Gonzalez in 2012. Both fighters weighed in comfortably at 114.8 pounds.
The unification fight airs on DAZN Saturday, March 13, from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, with the main card kicking off at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT.
“El Gallo” Estrada first had to win his rematch against countryman Carlos “Principe” Cuadras last October. The challenger didn’t make it easy. In a Fight of the Year candidate, Estrada recovered from an early knockdown to score two of his own before finally stopping a determined Cuadras at 2:22 of Round 11.
On the same card, Nicaraguan national hero Gonzalez’s resurrection continued with a solid outing against an aggressive challenger Israel Gonzalez of Mexico. Gonzalez deployed all his best tools, including ring generalship, footwork, solid head movement and defense, and effective aggression behind a nonstop work rate. By the sixth round, Gonzalez looked like the man who sat on top of the pound-for-pound rankings for a share of the last decade.
Estrada Gonzalez 2: Winding paths to the rematch
Estrada has wanted to avenge his loss to Gonzalez for every day of these eight years. When they first met, Estrada was 22 and not as experienced as Gonzalez at age 23. He dropped down a division to take on Gonzalez at 108 pounds. Gonzalez was 33-0, Estrada 26-1. It was a highly competitive, all-action fight at the old Los Angeles Sports Arena, closer than the 116-112 X 2 and 118-110 cards for Gonzalez. Recall also this was not the main event; it was an undercard fight. Brian Viloria was the headliner.
Estrada returned to Mexico and worked on his skills for five years. His next US appearance was in the first of three “Superfly” cards at the famed Carson, California boxing venue known then (and always, come on) as the StubHub Center. Estrada won his first bout with Carlos Cuadras after a 12-round war on razor-thin scorecards.
Since then, Gonzalez continued to win fans and accolades, arguably the most popular small fighter in the US since Michael Carbajal’s reign. But then he ran into two losses, including a devastating knockout by Srisikat Sor Rungvisai of Thailand on the same card as Estrada vs. Cuadras. The second loss came after the death of Gonzalez’s longtime trainer Arnulfo Obando, who died from a stroke in November 2016 at the age of 54. Gonalez took Obando’s death extremely hard.
Estrada then lost a close decision to Rungvisai, avenging it easily one year later. At age 30, Estrada has never looked better. Against Cuadras, Estrada threw a career-high 1,110 punches, landing 387, his second-best total landed. He has Cuadras to thank for a wildly entertaining fight.
Gonzalez was written off after the Rungvisai fight.
But he continued to believe in himself. Under the guidance of new trainer Marcos Caballero, Gonzalez worked his way back, thrilling his fans with a surprise knockout win of rising young British star Kal Yafai in February 2020.
“I consider myself a man who’s done the best that I could. I had difficult times growing up, but, in the end, it worked out well,” said Gonzalez. “Life has taught me a lot of things, and I learned. And I feel and think that I’ve already conquered many things in boxing. What comes now with this title is just extra.
“I never imagined myself getting to where I am now. But wow, it is still hard, it costs me. Because I train the right way. I do things the way they should be done. But I like it. And it’s what’s let me help my family. Help my kids. I don’t complain because I thank god for where I am now.
“My family, my children, what makes me get up in the morning is to keep reaping victories in boxing. Not only that but many young guys that want to be like the champ, like Chocolatito. But in the end, it’s what gives you your happiness in life. What you want to achieve in your life.
“When I retire, I will leave very satisfied and very happy to have been able to have so much success for my kids and my family, and also for the people of Nicaragua.”
“I’ve been waiting for this fight for almost nine years, I’ve been ready for the opportunity. He’s a good champ, he’s a good fighter, and may the best man win,” said Estrada.
“We waited a long time; I have three losses, and I’ve already avenged two of them, but we train really hard, and I’m ready for this fight. This is going to be better than the first one. It’s going to be a war, and the people watching will be the real winners,” promised El Gallo.
“Without a doubt, it’s a fight that we have all been waiting for a long time. There is a lot of expectation, it’s been nine years in the making. People would always ask when we would fight again. It’s going to be exciting, and I’m concentrating on giving a good fight this Saturday.”
PREDICTION: A war that goes the distance
Even at age 32, Gonzalez has a deep skillset and the experience to use them all exactly when needed behind relentless pressure. Chocolatito won’t allow his opponents to pause for a single second and dismantles them even in difficult fights. His punching accuracy allows him to compensate for single-shot power, although he hits hard enough to get anyone’s respect. His skills should be shown to every aspiring young champion.
Estrada is a classic Mexican fighter with an aggressive offense, superb counterpunching and timing, and a massive heart. He feels he has something to prove on Saturday.
Both can be knocked down. Both have power but tend to chip away with volume punching at this stage of their careers. And both fight with tremendous heart and will.
Gonzalez had to fight his way back to earn this opportunity from a dark place. He’s healed from the personal and professional losses, and he’s coming in with a calm, determined approach. He’s not the least bit anxious.
Estrada can let the chip on his shoulder drive him or distract him. He took a lot of punishment from Carlos Cuadras just a few months ago. It may be a factor as the two drill each other after the middle rounds. He’s the younger in ring age. His best opportunity is to hurt Gonzalez early, slow him down and get the upper hand.
But Estrada can be prone to careless mistakes, as the Cuadras fight showed. Gonzalez is a machine, and he’ll make Estrada pay. If he can stay inside, avoid letting Estrada load up or time a counterpunch, he’ll get the nod from the judges each round.
Roman Gonzalez by decision
Count on the fight going the distance. While Estrada is favored and he’s a smart pick, boxing is an emotional sport, and Gonzalez can use it to fuel him. We see Chocolatito’s hand raised in the middle of the ring by a close decision on all three cards.
This fight deserves a massive audience. A limited number of fans will be on hand, and the rest of the world gets to watch via DAZN either by regular subscription or a special PPV and subscription opportunity. If you’re going to spend money on one boxing event this spring, make it this one.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal is a veteran boxing observer 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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