Sunday, March 26, 2023  |



Cuadras ready for GGG-Jacobs undercard, Gonzalez rematch

Photo / Sumio Yamada

LOS ANGELES – Former 115-pound titleholder Carlos Cuadras makes his return to the ring on the March 18 Gennady Golovkin-Daniel Jacobs undercard, and after being virtually unknown in the United States before taking on pound-for-pound king Roman Gonzalez less than a year ago, the Mexican junior bantamweight has conjured enough attention to have a media luncheon this past Thursday at The Palm Restaurant.

“Well it just shows that they were impressed with my boxing style. That I’m a good boxer, and I have high quality,” Cuadras told about the turnout (through translator Alan Gomez). “People appreciate it. That’s why I’m here. I’ve got a foot into the United States media, and I’m happy about it. It just shows that they see quality in me.”

The attention stems off his performance against Gonzalez, who he dropped a hotly contested unanimous decision to in an HBO-televised main event from The Forum in Inglewood, California last September. It was Cuadras’ first big fight in the U.S., and while he lost the WBC 115-pound title, “The Prince” gave the “Chocolatito” everything he could handle.

“Nothing really surprised me because I’ve studied him before. I know who he is, so I was well prepared,” said Cuadras when asked about his impressions of facing the now-four-division titleholder, but the talkative 28 year old did end up thinking of two things that weren’t expected. “During the fight, when I would feint, and then throw the jab, I would connect. Also what surprised me (is) that he didn’t hit as hard as everyone said he would hit. So, those are the couple things that surprised me.”

Another surprise came when Cuadras returned home for the first time after giving such a valiant effort in the biggest fight of his life. “When I came back to Mexico, there was a lot of people waiting for me at the airport. I was really surprised. Upon my arrival, I felt like I was the winner because everyone was there to greet me.”

When asked if there was anything more he could have done that night, Cuadras responded, “Shoulda, coulda. It doesn’t exist anymore. It’s the past – it happened already. What I’m gonna concentrate on when I see him again, I’m gonna work the body more, I’m gonna move around more, and I’m gonna just use my skills. But what happened in the past, it’s over. It’s done.”

Cuadras (35-1-1, 27 knockouts) made it clear that he wants his chance at revenge with Gonzalez, and at the formal part of the media luncheon, the managing director of K2 Promotions, Tom Loeffler, announced that the rematch will be mandated by the WBC should Gonzalez and Cuadras win their next fights. Gonzalez will make a mandatory defense of the WBC title on the same HBO PPV card March 18 against Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.

“I’ll be ready,” said Cuadras. “I just hope that Gonzalez, if we’re both to win, that he doesn’t back out of this fight.” As to why he’s tempered his expectation of solidifying the rematch, Cuadras said, “I believe that Gonzalez realizes that, in the rematch, he can’t win. I’m going to knock him out…I think that Gonzalez understands that the next time we meet, it will be round thirteen, and I will pick up where I left off.”

Cuadras, who is constantly flashing a big grin when he speaks, has a personality that mirrors the joyous quality of his disposition in a fight. He often toes the line of grandstanding, but Cuadras certainly respects Gonzalez despite his willingness to show off his gift of gab. Before what’s expected to be a sold out crowd at the Madison Square Garden in New York City on St. Patrick’s Day weekend, the only person standing in Cuadras’ path to vengeance is Mexican contender David Carmona.

“I know him, bot no relationship. No communication really, but we know of each other,” said Cuadras about his next opponent, who happens to be from Mexico City as well. Cuadras got a nice laugh out of the room earlier when asked the same question by answering, “There’s no rivalry between us, but we can make one.”

Carmona (20-3-5, 8 KOs) is coming off a unanimous decision loss to the WBO 115-pound titleholder Naoya Inoue, and Cuadras agreed that the 25 year old gave the Japanese champion his toughest fight to date.

“Yes. Nobody has ever given a fight like that, and brought it to Inoue,” said Cuadras about Carmona’s effort last May in Tokyo. “At first, Inoue did connect a few, but he (Carmona) sustained those punches, and kept on fighting.” As for what types of challenges Carmona will bring to their fight, Cuadras answered, “You don’t know if he’s gonna throw a jab or a hook. That’s what he has, and he hits hard. But that’s thing, that he’s always throwing the hook or the jab.”

The first gathering of reporters focused solely on him was a sign that Cuadras is gaining traction, but much of the conversation that afternoon, was focused on “Chocolatito.” In the final question of the sit down with, Gonzalez was asked to be blunt in answering if he’s tired of talking about Gonzalez.

“Yeah,” Cuadras said. “That’s it. I’m done talking about Chocolatito. Carmona is next.”