This Saturday night the long awaited rematch between Roman Gonzalez and Juan Francisco Estrada streams live on DAZN. Over 8 years ago these two warriors met in what turned out to be a highly competitive and entertaining scrap. The fight itself helped set off what hardcore fight fans labeled as the Flyweight Wars. Around 7 or 8 fighters engaged in a round robin or sorts rarely seen in modern day boxing. We’ve had it to an extent in the world boxing super series along with the junior middleweight and welterweights of course we still need that Errol Spence and Terence Crawford fight. The co-feature pits yet another rematch involving Jessica McCaskill and Cecilia Braekhus.
It’s funny how some folks on boxing twitter especially the media decide what they’re angry about and what to brush off or not even mention. As is the case here with the rematch that took forever to make considering their first meeting took place in November 17, 2012. If they were in higher weight classes or under a certain banner surely large parts of the media would’ve devoured the notion it took that long to meet once again. As Roman Gonzalez went up in weight Juan Francisco slowly followed in search of righting a wrong in Estrada’s mind anyway. Once ‘Chocolatito’ graced to the HBO network it seemed it would be harder to make because they were moving him into becoming a star inside of boxing.
Rightfully so Gonzalez started to ask for a million dollar payday to make the fight happen with Estrada. The price tag rose again, not long after Roman took a questionable loss to Srisaket Rungvisai. The next time out Gonzalez got stopped by Rungvisai and it look as though Saturday’s fight would never happen. To Rungvisai’s credit he beat Juan Francisco Estrada in a razor-close result and three fights later Estrada got his revenge. All and all it’s been a blast watching several memorable wars take place but now the Flyweight Wars will come to a crescendo. Of course we must leave room for the trilogy.
Rematches that get dragged out generally turn out poorly when all the hype is over during fight week. It appears that won’t be the case here and maybe we get a repeat of say a Ray Leonard versus Tommy Hearns rewind that saw both men faded enough to make it pretty much even. No pun intended even SRL admits Tommy won the 2nd time around. It does appear that both of these guys have faded with probably Gonzalez effected a tad more from the knockout not to mention the wear and tear from being a come-forward fighter.
Back in 2012 Estrada got off to a quick start in the early rounds getting the better of Gonzalez in the exchanges and moving well on the outside after landing 1 or 2 punches. As the fight heated up it was Gonzalez having success at cutting off the ring and trapping Juan Francisco on the ropes. The more Gonzalez can cut the distance on Estrada the better allowing him to land those short left hooks to the head and overhand rights. Digging to the body in combination and applying tons of pressure with a high output are the ingredients to win every time out for ‘Chocolatito’.
For Estrada he must be more discipline in staying out of as many exchanges as much possible. It’s different once Juan Francisco has timed Gonzlaez later in the fight but landing a nice left hook to the body followed up by attacking the head or whatever punches and then reset on the outside or at least pivot away is most likely the path to victory. I swear Estrada looks very similar to the legendary Juan Manuel Marquez when he throws that left hook to the body right hand to the head combo. Estrada is the faster fighter and he must use that to his advantage not only hand speed but fleet of foot needs to play a part too.
Per usually in a boxer versus puncher matchup look for Estrada to get the early lead. It won’t take but a few rounds for these two to start really mixing it up. Age and a slightly more shopworn fighter in Gonzalez will make a difference enough for this boxing podcaster to favor Estrada even if he chooses to stay on the inside a few seconds to long. Unless there’s a major cut I don’t see a knockout occurring and if so it will be a technical stoppage not a sleeper. Whoever wins this particular battle the big picture meaning the war was won by the hardcore fans that got to witness the entire Flyweight Wars take place.
Side Note: Don’t forget to tune it to the co-feature which could be a closely fought as their first bout but I’m picking Jessica McCaskill over Cecilia Braekhus. Also, David Benavidez returns in the main event against a fringe Ronald Ellis on Showtime. On the undercard all-action Isaac Cruz faces Jose Matias Romero but the crossroads bout between Terrell Gausha and Jamontay Clark is a 50-50 on paper.
Written by Chris Carlson Host/Producer of The Rope A Dope Radio Podcast Available at www.blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio & TheGruelingTruth.Com