Juan Francisco Estrada seeks 115 pound domination
Last October, former WBA and WBO flyweight titleholder Juan Francisco Estrada returned from 13 months of inactivity to score a 10-round shutout decision over Filipino journeyman Raymond Tabugon.
The 26-year-old Mexican had been idle due to a hand injury and underwent an operation to repair a weakened knuckle tendon.
“I had actually been having issues with my right hand for several fights and my doctor recommended that I get a procedure done to fix the problem,” Estrada told RingTV.com through his manager Juan Hernandez. “I knew it would take a while to recover but I want to take on the biggest fights and be at 100 percent. It’s something that me and my team decided we should take care of.”
Estrada (34-2, 24 knockouts) had made five successful defenses but, upon his return, elected to vacate his 112-pound titles and move up to junior bantamweight.
He now intends to win another world title and lure pound-for-pound king and WBC titleholder Roman Gonzalez into a rematch.
“I had spent all of my career at flyweight except for when I fought ‘Chocolatito’ at junior flyweight,” he explained. “I felt that my body had been asking me to move up in weight.
“We decided to move up to 115 and, just like I became a champ at 112, I have no doubt that I will become champion at my new weight, and hopefully at 118, down the road. I think there’s a few options for big fights at 115, maybe the biggest one being a rematch against Chocolatito. He has been avoiding a fight with me but eventually it should happen. I will definitely win and possibly by KO.”
However, “El Gallo” knows that, with Gonzalez fighting mandatory challenger Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, on the undercard of the Gennady Golovkin-Daniel Jacobs clash on March 18, the rematch is far from imminent.
As a result, Estrada expects to fight next month to prepare himself for a title challenge at a later date.
The talented Mexican had been linked with former WBC 108-pound titlist Edgar Sosa; however, his promoter, Zanfer Promotions, received backlash from fans and media who viewed the fight as a mismatch. Subsequently, a new opponent is required and if the March date doesn’t come to fruition, Estrada will return on April 29.
“My team is currently working on getting me the details of my next fight, probably in March,” he said. “I’ve been in the gym getting ready for whatever comes next.”
Although, Estrada would prefer a second fight with Gonzalez, he would be happy to face off with any of the champions at 115 pounds.
“I think they’re all very good champions and I am willing to fight whoever my team says,” confirmed Estrada. “Like I said, I would really look forward to a Chocolatito rematch as I think it’s a good fight for boxing. I think fights with (WBO beltohlder Naoya) Inoue or (Carlos) Cuadras would be big fights too.
“We will see what happens this year but I think a fight against any of those guys would be great and eventually I will take over at 115. Good luck to all the champions and top guys at that weight, since I’m looking to fight anyone there and to Chocolatito – you can run but you can’t hide.”
Estrada’s manager Hernandez was also keen to talk up an eventual showdown with Chocolatito.
“We’re now working on securing a 10-round fight (before) securing a title fight with any of the current champs at 115,” said Hernandez. “Eventually the biggest fight at 115, and I think one of the most anticipated in the sport, would be against Gonzalez. Their first fight at 108 was a war and a rematch would be nothing less but with a different outcome.”
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