Tuesday, June 06, 2023  |


Roman Gonzalez, Juan Francisco Estrada agree they have unfinished business

Fighters Network

Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez and Juan Francisco Estrada thrilled fight fans on the night of November 17, 2012. Gonzalez would win a close unanimous decision, but fight fans have wondered when a rematch between the two would take place.

Gonzalez and Estrada have both expressed interest in facing one another, and the fact both hold a world title belt at 115 pounds could make it more tempting to come to terms for the anticipated rematch.

Both expressed an interest in facing one another on a recent episode of ‘Peleamundo,’ which is hosted by Jessie Vargas, who won world title belts in two different weight classes. The Spanish-speaking episodes stream on Matchroom Boxing’s YouTube page.

Gonzalez was defending the WBA junior flyweight title against Estrada at the Sport Arena in Los Angeles that night. Despite a pro-Gonzalez crowd in attendance, Estrada rallied late in the fight, outboxing the Nicaragua fighter before the final bell sounded.

“It was my first attempt at a world title,” said Estrada (40-3, 27 knockouts). “I dropped down from flyweight to fight at 108 pounds. No one wanted to fight him at that time. I accepted that opportunity because of who ‘Chocolatito’ was. He’s still one of the great champions. I wanted to fight him. It was a great fight and I think that’s why people have been asking for the rematch for the last eight years. I think it’s going to be a great fight. It was a close fight and I hope there is a rematch.”

Estrada, who is from Puerto Penasco, Mexico, would win world title belts at 112 and 115 pounds. After the Gonzalez fight, he would win his next 10 bouts before losing a close majority decision to Wisaksil Wangek (aka Srisaket Sor Rungvisai) in February 2018. He would avenge the loss on April 26 of last year, winning by unanimous decision. 

In his last bout on August 24, Estrada battered Dewayne Beamon before stopping him in round 9.

Gonzalez (49-2, 41 KOs), who resides in Managua, Nicaragua, is best known for winning world title belts in four different weight classes. After some wrote him off after losing back-to-back fights against Wangek in 2017, Gonzalez won his next two fight before squaring off against Khalid Yafai on February 29, battering the British fighter before knocking him out in round 9.

“I’ve always said that no challenge is too small,” said Gonzalez. “We prepared to our best for the fight. The key was listening to my corner and executing what we planned before the fight. The result was how we expected it.”

Gonzalez admits Estrada presented a strong challenge back in 2012, but says Estrada is a different and better fighter today thanks to the experience he has gained thought the years.

“It was a difficult fight,” said the 32-year-old Gonzalez. “It was a close fight. Gallo fought well at 108 pounds.”

“I think the experience he has gained has helped him in his career. He’s a different fighter because of the level of opposition he has faced and what he has learned in those fights.”

Estrada agrees.

“I’ve learned a lot since the first time we fought in 2012. When I fought Roman, I had 26-27 fights and now I have more than 40. I have a lot of experience and I think it has served me well throughout my career. Every fight is different but I think the fighter who is best prepared between the two of us will win the rematch.”

“I have three losses and I’ve avenged two of them. The only one I haven’t avenged is the loss to Roman. Hopefully the rematch gets made and I can prove that I can beat Roman Gonzalez.”

Gonzalez has spent a majority of his career promoted by Teiken Promotions, while Estrada first signed with Zanfer Promotions. With both fighters now co-promoted by Matchroom Boxing Promotions banner, one would think it would be easier to finally make the rematch a reality.

Both reiterated they want the rematch. 

“There has to be a rematch,” said Gonzalez. “I get asked if there is a thorn in my side (regarding a rematch against Estrada). People have even said that Estrada beat me in the first fight. I do think that a rematch against ‘Gallo’ will be a great fight. I’ve always said that the fighter who prepares himself the best will be the winner of the rematch.

Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper, Boxingscene.com, and FightNights.com. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing