Living legend Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez returns to the ring this Saturday against Julio Cesar Martinez. The WBC flyweight champion is stepping up in weight to face Gonzalez after his original opponent, Juan Francisco Estrada, pulled out of their scheduled trilogy fight. While we have been robbed of the third chapter in the enthralling ‘Chocolatito’-Estrada rivalry, this is not a bad replacement by any stretch.
Gonzalez is a former pound-for-pound number one, and a four-weight world champion. He has lost just three times in an incredible career, punctuated by his viscerally-exciting, high-pressure style. It is inconceivable that the 50-fight veteran is still only 34 years old, and still capable of incredible feats in the ring. His opponent is largely untested at this level, but is the reigning WBC flyweight champion. This fight will represent a true test of his elite credentials, and the fact he has stepped up in weight at such short notice, and against an opponent of this quality, must be applauded.
There will be a familiar face on the undercard, as Mauricio Lara fights Emilio Sanchez. The Mexican star is best known for his spectacular upset win over Josh Warrington in February of last year. He would meet Warrington again in a rematch in September that was cut short after just two rounds, due to a nasty gash sustained by Lara from an accidental head clash. With his old foe scheduled to meet IBF champion Kiko Martinez, ‘Bronco’ can put himself in the box seat for a world title shot here.
Where: Pechanga Arena in San Diego, California, USA
When: Saturday 5th February, 1:30am Sunday UK time
How to watch: DAZN
Tale of the Tape:
Place Of Birth: Managua, Nicaragua
Record: 50-3 (41 KOs)
Last Fight: ‘Chocolatito’ is coming off a split decision loss in a thrilling rematch with Juan Francisco Estrada a year ago. The points defeat saw Gonzalez drop his WBA super flyweight title, a belt he was hoping to reclaim in a third fight before Estrada pulled out.
Place Of Birth: Mexico City, Mexico
Alias: El Rey
Record: 18-1-2 (14 KOs)
Last Fight: Martinez went to a no-contest with McWilliams Arroyo in defence of his WBC flyweight title in his last bout. Arroyo’s eye was damaged after an accidental head clash, and the fight was stopped without result in the second round.
What They Say:
“We will see what the future brings. For now, I am prepared to face ‘El Rey’ Martinez. God willing everything goes as planned on March 5, we will see if a third fight with ‘Gallo’ (Estrada) is next.” [BoxingScene]
Eddie Hearn (Promoter)
“I believe (it will be) a bloodbath. I think it will be explosive.” [DAZN]
*18+ | BeGambleAware | Odds Subject To Change