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Gonzalez claims title in fourth weight class

Roman Gonzalez. Photo by Naoki Fukuda
11
Sep

Perhaps Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez shouldn’t train with Gennady Golovkin anymore.

The statement is meant in jest. But Gonzalez, who shadowboxed and jump-roped next to Golovkin at Big Bear in sensational photo-ops, went to war with junior bantamweight titleholder Carlos Cuadras on Saturday in an uncharacteristically difficult fight for the Nicaraguan that produced sensational back-and-forth action in by the far the most compelling fight of the day.

While Gonzalez won a unanimous decision by scores of 117-111, 116-112, 115-113 against Cuadras to claim a junior bantamweight title, his fourth championship in a different weight division as he rose in weight, the fight was not that easy and exposed some weaknesses in the usually brilliant Gonzalez, whose defense was at times shaky against the athletic and talented Cuadras.

Gonzalez (46-0, 38 KOs), regarded as the top pound-for-pound fighter in the sport, won a title in a fourth weight division at The Forum in Inglewood, California, surpassing his idol and countryman, the late Hall-of-Fame boxer Alexis Arguello, a champion in three divisions.

Gonzalez tried to blitz Cuadras in the opening rounds, starting faster than usual; Cuadras found his distance in the middle frames and was able to time Gonzalez with some looping, hard shots; Gonzalez applied his wizardry in spots, landing his quick-as-a-wink combinations but was never able to break Cuadras’ will like he has previous opponents; Cuadras hurt Gonzalez to the body in the 11th round; Gonzalez’s eyes looked like slits by the time the fight was over, the result of taking repeated punishment even if he did land the flashier combinations. Gonzalez said afterward the fight with Cuadras (35-1-1) was the toughest of his career.

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