SAN DIEGO, April 23, 2016 – McWilliams Arroyo of Puerto Rico came to do more than show up for the paycheck on Saturday at The Forum in Los Angeles. Nearly any other night, his performance would have been good enough to win.
But not when you’re in the ring with the best pound for pound fight in the world. Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (45-0, 38 KOs) of Nicaragua put on a tremendous display of the many skills he brings to the fight game in his unanimous decision win over Arroyo (16-3, 14 KOs). Two judges scored the fight 119-109, the third 120-108.
Give Arroyo credit. He did what only a handful of fighters have done against Gonzalez by going the distance. Arroyo started off briskly, with Gonzalez being very patient. He was able to connect, but not with enough power to move Gonzalez. Gonzalez has such solid balance and foot placement that it takes tremendous force to move him.
After biding his time, Gonzalez went to work, starting with the body. The partisan crowd went wild watching their champion, cheering “Chocolatito, Chocolatito” and “Nicaragua, Nicaragua.” Gonzalez connected with several punches to the head, mixing up punches well. Arroyo took everything Gonzalez had to give.
With a half minute left in the fourth round, Arroyo’s shoe came apart under the ball of his foot. He asked the referee for time, but the fight continued. His corner wound white tape around it to hold it together, and he fought with the taped shoe the rest of the fight. Some boxers would find this a huge distraction, but Arroyo seemed to forget about it quickly.
Gonzalez landed several hard right hands to Arroyo’s head through the middle of the fight, mixed up with the relentless body attack. Gonzalez simply keeps coming and cant be stopped. While Arroyo would land a punch from time to time, particularly a very good left hook, they were single punches and not coming hard and fast enough. Arroyo needed to stay busier, and he simply couldn’t. Single punches against the fluid combinations thrown by Gonzales won’t make up ground.
Arroyo took a right to the head near the end of Round 10 that snapped his head to the side. But he never gave in. He was not in Los Angeles just to cash a paycheck. Through the second half of the bout, he was fighting simply for pride.
Arroyo might have been beaten down, but he was not beaten; he earned plenty of respect from the fans and his opponent.
“It was a very difficult fight. McWilliams moves very well, he knows how to avoid punches,” said Gonzalez. But Gonzalez said none of the punches thrown hurt him. “I keep demonstrating what I’m made of, and what I have.”
Who is now the biggest challenger ahead for Gonzalez? “You know, every fighter has hands. They’re all good. The most important thing is to come to every fight at top condition,” said Gonzalez. He said he would fight at least once more at the 115 pound weight limit, and then considering moving up to a higher weight division. Will this be Juan Francisco Estrada? “I would love that fight,” said Gonzalez. Promoter Tom Loeffler said he would love to have Chocolatito back at The Forum, and would love to have a fight with Estrada there.
Results from the rest of the undercard:
Lightweight Ryan Martin of Cleveland, Ohio endeared himself to the Forum crowd entering the ring to the Prince song “Let’s Go Crazy. Martin (14-0, 10 KOs) had no trouble with Rosbel Montoya of Reynosa, Mexico (16-8-1. 13 KOs). Martin started strong, working to the body well. He knocked Montoya down with a sharp right to the head near the end of the second round, and again halfway through the fourth round. Montoya tried to hang in there, but at 1:51 of the fifth round, referee Raul Caiz Sr. decided Montoya had taken enough. The crowd didn’t like it, but it was a good call. Martin is talented, snaps his punches and has a killer instinct. Keep an eye on him.
Super featherweight Pedro Duran of Paramount, California (14-0-0, 11 KOs) did much the same to his opponent Pedro Lopez of Tijuana, Mexico (6-3-1, 2 KOs). Lopez mustered as as much opposition as he could, but Duran’s speed and punching power were too much for him, meeting him before he could set up and throw a punch. Lopez was knocked down by stunning rights to the head in the first round and again in the third round. Duran hit Lopez so hard in the third he went flying through the air before landing on his back. Lopez lasted one more round, but after the fourth the referee stopped the fight. Lopez’s left eye was closing from cuts above and below, it was another cautious call no one should argue with.
In the opening bout, the women fighters on the undercard put on a great show for the fans getting to The Forum early. In the opening bout, local super flyweight star Seniesa Estrada of Los Angeles (6-0, 1 KO) won a unanimous decision shutout over Selene Lopez of Mexicali (3-5-3, 1 KO). Lopez was too tough for Estrada to take down, but she dominated the action packed bout.
In the following light flyweight bout, Kenia Enriquez of Tijuana (16-1, 8 KOs) put Amaria Quintana (9-3-2, 1 KO) on the canvas early in the first round. Quintana beat the count, and managed to stay on her feet but took a lot of punishment from the powerful Enriquez who is accurate and fearless. She made it to the fifth round where Enriquez hit her with a straight right followed by a left, and repeated both for good measure before the referee stopped the bout 16 seconds in.
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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