Jonathan Gonzalez finds new foe, takes on Gerardo Zapata in Nicaragua on Oct. 27
Jonathan Gonzalez has a new opponent for October 27.
Gonzalez will now defend his WBO world junior flyweight title against Gerardo Zapata, All Star Boxing promoter Tuto Zabala confirmed to The Ring Wednesday morning.
The 12-round bout will take place at the Alexis Arguello Sports Complex in Managua, Nicaragua and will stream live on ESPN+ in the United States and on ESPN Knockout throughout Latin America.
The southpaw Gonzalez (27-3-1, 14 knockouts), who currently resides in Caguas, Puerto Rico and is ranked No. 1 by The Ring at 108 pounds, was originally scheduled to face Leyman Benavides, but Benavides reportedly fell ill and had to pull out of the fight over the weekend.
Zapata was already on the card, as he was scheduled to fight Azael Villar in a rematch from their August 4 clash, which ended in a split-decision draw.
“Leyman is sick,” Zabala told The Ring. “The report we received from (Leyman’s) team was that he had symptoms of COVID-19, but we have yet to receive a medical report to officially confirm that.
“The health of a fighter is first and foremost. We had planned to have Zapata on the card in the event something like this would have happened. When Leyman backed out of the card, we moved Zapata up to face Gonzalez. This fight was something that we had already discussed and Zapata was always considered a possible option.”
Gonzalez will attempt to make the third successful defense of his WBO world title, which he won in October 2021, defeating Elwin Soto by split decision.
In his last bout on November 1, Gonzalez defeated Shokichi Iwata by unanimous decision. Iwata entered the fight unbeaten.
Zapata (14-1-1, 5 KOs), who is originally from Managua, Nicaragua and currently resides in Miami, Florida, previously fought on December 16, losing by disqualification in the second round to Rene Santiago.
Prior to the loss to Santiago, the 29-year-old Zapata had previously won his eight fights by decision.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached at [email protected]