Dougie’s Friday mailbag (the greatness of Chocolatito, what’s next for Mikey?)
HOW GREAT IS CHOCOLATITO?
What a performance by Mr. Pound for Pound, Roman Gonzalez is all that this term embodies. But really, how great is Chocolatito? How do we rate this dude? The best guys I can think of in the lower weight classes are Jimmy Wilde, Miguel Canto, Ricardo Lopez, Michael Carbajal, Vicente Saldivar, Chiquita Gonzalez, Mark Johnson, but Chocolatito, damn, is he better than these guys? Is he the best?
What he did last night defied the odds, and I mean in how good he looked, he truly is inspirational. Even though it hasn’t been that long since the GGG/Chocolatito duo ruled the world, I long for those days, such a wonderful moment that will no longer be.
Well, I’m happy for the little dude from Nicaragua, he deserved another moment of glory. Sadly, I happened to be there live when Sor Rungvisai flatlined him, it was so sad to see a legend get destroyed in that way, didn’t want to have that last image of him. I’m happy he won the championship again. Sadly, he’ll probably continue a little longer than he should, that’s what always happens, they just can’t leave the game, it’s all they know.
Now, talking about his home country of Nicaragua, has he surpassed Alexis Arguello as the greatest boxer from that country? I know the impact of El Flaco will probably never be surpassed, but in terms of accomplishment, how do you see them stacking up? Thanks Doug. – Juan Valverde, San Diego
That’s a good question, Juan, and a tough one, but I think the nod still must go to the late great Arguello. Before I get into their stats, keep in mind that Arguello fought in an era of only two major world titles and same-day weigh-ins. (Had they had day-before weigh-ins like now, there’s no doubt in my mind he would have won his first title attempt vs. Ernesto Marcel for the WBA 122-pound belt.)
Let’s start with Chocolatito (49-2, 41 KOs). He won major world titles in four weight classes, accomplishing what his idol and former mentor fell short of achieving. He’s faced 10 titleholders to date. He made 13 title defenses over his four reigns. The best names on his resume include, Juan Estrada, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, Brian Viloria, Carlos Cuadras, Akira Yaegashi and Yutaka Niida.
Now let’s look at Arguello (77-8, 62 KOs). He won major world titles in three weight classes. He also faced 10 titleholders. He made 16 title defenses over his three reigns. The best names on his resume include, Ruben Olivares, Aaron Pryor, Bobby Chacon, Ray Mancini, Rafael Limon and Alfredo Escalera.
Olivares, Pryor, Chacon and Mancini are all in the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Olivares is arguably an ATG. We’ll see if Gonzalez’s top foes one day qualify for the IBHOF. I think Viloria is a borderline candidate and Estrada seems on his way. But for now, I gotta go with Arguello’s resume and legacy over my favorite active fighter’s.
What a performance by Mr. Pound for Pound, Roman Gonzalez is all that this term embodies. For real! And not to toot my own horn but I was telling people (including The Ring’s Ratings Chairman and Panel) that this cat from Nicaragua was pound-for-pound worthy back in 2011 and 2012. Check this Elie Seckbach video before his modern-classic vs. Estrada in L.A.
But really, how great is Chocolatito? How do we rate this dude? Well, you know how I see it. I think he’s the REAL Fighter of the Decade. He’s CLEARLY one of the best boxers of the last 10-15 years. Period. That’s not even up for debate. I thought he was a first-ballot hall of famer before the losses to Sor Rungvisai (and I still say that he deserved the nod over the Thai tank in their thrilling first bout) and before his latest title triumph vs. Yafai.
The best guys I can think of in the lower weight classes are Jimmy Wilde, Miguel Canto, Ricardo Lopez, Michael Carbajal, Vicente Saldivar, Chiquita Gonzalez, Mark Johnson, but Chocolatito, damn, is he better than these guys? Is he the best? He’s more accomplished than some of the hall of famers you mentioned but I wouldn’t put him over them. I think he’s in their class. I truly believe that he’s among the 10-15 best sub-bantamweights of all time (and it should be noted that Saldivar was a featherweight). He belongs with Wilde, Finito, Canto, Pascual Perez, Pancho Villa, Fidel LaBarba, Frankie Genaro, Chiquita, Carbajal, Too Sharp, Johnny Tapia, Khaosai Galaxy and Jung-Koo Chang.
What he did last night defied the odds, and I mean in how good he looked, he truly is inspirational. Yes, he did, and yes, he is.
Even though it hasn’t been that long since the GGG/Chocolatito duo ruled the world, I long for those days, such a wonderful moment that will no longer be. The Big and Little Drama Show Reign – from May 2015 to March 2017 – oh, what a ride that was! Pound for pound and coast to coast, the best one-two punch in sports entertainment. GGG and Chocolatito packing The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. and The Garden in NYC, giving us thrilling knockouts, brilliant performances and brutal battles (namely Gonzalez’s Fight of the Year candidate vs. Sor Rungvisai in the Golovkin-Jacobs co-feature, and his showdown with Viloria in the GGG-Lemiuex co-feature).
RETURN OF THE KING
Great performance from Chocolotito last night.
What would you like for him to do next? – Rodemeyer
I’d like to see him go for The Ring/WBC championship by challenging current pound-for-pound rated Juan Francisco Estrada, and I’d like for that long-awaited rematch to take place at Staples Center or The Forum (where I KNOW it would sellout).
I’d also be into a showdown with WBO beltholder Kazuto Ioka in Tokyo (just because it’s an entertaining matchup and I want an excuse to travel back to Japan for a major fight).
WILDER IN THE HOSPITAL
Thank you. – Jason C. Brown
I’m not gonna lie, I thought this might be true when I first saw the headline on my Twitter TL, but I’ve since learned that The Sports Rag is a “spoof” sporting news site. Good for them. I’m following them now.
Chocolatito… man what else is there to say??? Artistic savagery on display, couldn’t be happier to see him looking sharp & dangerous again. I think he’d make similar work of Ancajas. How do you think he should map out his next move? Matching him vs Estrada/SSR obviously gives me a bit more pause…
Mikey—don’t ask me. He seems to be building a legendary career in his mind, but his matchmaking always makes it tough for me to assess where he’s at. If ur gonna weight hop thru the championship divisions, u better possess some otherworldly advantage like speed, power, defense, etc. I don’t see that at all with Mikey at 147, hence my desire to see him mix it up at a more natural 135/140 weight.
If he misses out on the Pac sweepstakes, what do u think his move is?
Freakshow MMU: Fundora vs Khurtsidze (“Mike Tyson baby”) – DJ
The Georgian Cartel Enforcer chops down the Fundora Tree within eight rounds.
If Mikey can’t land the big shot against the living legend, he can see if any of the high-profile PBC welters, such as Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter or Danny Garcia, are game, or he can give his old promoter Bob Arum a call about challenging the undefeated WBO titleholder, Terence Crawford.
Arum told our own Ryan O’Hara that his line is open for Mikey.
I respect Garcia, but I don’t think he wants that Crawford smoke. We’ll see. Personally, I’d like to see how he fares against the top junior welterweights, such as Ring champ Josh Taylor, Jose Ramirez, the Prograis-Hooker winner and Ivan Baranchyk.
Chocolatito… man what else is there to say??? Nothing, we all just need to admit what I’ve been saying for years… that he’s the KING… and leave it at that.
Artistic savagery on display, couldn’t be happier to see him looking sharp & dangerous again. “Artistic savagery.” That’s a brilliant way to put his style. I couldn’t have said it better.
I think he’d make similar work of Ancajas. I do too.
How do you think he should map out his next move? Matching him vs Estrada/SSR obviously gives me a bit more pause… Same here, but I’d rather him dare to be great and fall short than milk the WBA belt with pointless title defenses against challengers we know he’ll beat. To me, his legacy is secure. He’s a hall of famer and one of the best sub-bantamweights ever. No loss can hurt that legacy, especially if it’s to a special champion like Estrada. If he loses the rematch to Estrada but it’s a competitive and entertaining fight, I think that might add to his legacy. If he beats the elite Mexican, oh my… he’s Fighter of the Year frontrunner. If he takes on and beats his nemesis, Sor Rungvisai, forget about it. Now we’re talking all-time great. It ain’t up for debate.
WHAT A MAN
By pure, random luck I found a fight featuring a guy, whom I thought was a Mexican, on a foreign stream back in 2009. Other than the names of the fighters, I didn’t understand a word other than what I thought was a reference to Alexis Arguello. I soon learned he was Nicaraguan and named Roman Gonzales. I’ve been besotted with him ever since.
My best friend, (and soon to be best man) told be in 2011 he was embarrassed he didn’t play know this Titan, who by now was my favourite fighter. I told him not to be.
Never before have I seen class – in every shape and form – skill, brutality AND likability in a fighter.
The moment my countryman hit the deck at the end, my girlfriend woke to my cheers and just couldn’t be angry. She saw what it meant. Fighters – f__k it, anyone – rarely matter to me so much.
After SRR, I wanted him to quit. Even now I wince when he gets hit. Thanks for calling him the ‘KING’ and, in your vaunted position, putting the respect on his name he deserves.
Prime Rigo- Prime Yamanaka
Ali-Foreman ll (rematch within 10 months)
Thank you for your time. – JB (Manchester)
I gotta go with The Hawk by stoppage in a fun scrap while it lasts, which would be between eight and 10 rounds; Rigo by split nod in a very intense chess match that features traded knockdowns; and Ali by clear unanimous decision or late stoppage (in the championship rounds between 12 and 15).
Bro, I’m just like you when it comes to Chocolatito. I wanted him to retire after the brutal KO to Sor Rungvisai (and I had to be ringside for that heartbreaker) and I wince every time he gets hit with a good shot (and I won’t lie, I was nervous for him during the early rounds of the Yafai fight).
But I gotta support him for as long as he wants to fight on because, like you said, he’s ALL CLASS, inside and outside the ring. And there’s not enough of that going around these days.
The beautiful thing about Roman and his team is that they appreciate the support. When I see him, he makes it a point to say “Thank you.” Everything he says is sincere, so it gets me in my jaded heart, I tell ya.
Check out what I got in the mail just yesterday from his team. How awesome is that? It’s too small for me to wear, but still, just the fact that they thought enough of me to give me this gift sets them apart from like 95% of everybody in boxing (not including Teiken, of course).
I love the Bruce Lee-inspired yellow-and-black color combo, and one day, I’ll have the future hall of famer sign it with a sharpie!
Email Fischer at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter and IG at @dougiefischer, and join him and Coach Schwartz and friends on Periscope every Sunday from SMC track.