By J.J. Alvarez
With the incentive that the vacant WBC 115-pound crown will be at stake, a real train wreck will take place this December 3rd at the Desert Diamond Arena (formerly Gila River Arena) in Glendale, Arizona when Mexican Juan Francisco Estrada and Nicaraguan Román González, two of the best smaller fighters in history and surefire members of the Hall of Fame, will face each other for the third time.
“That’s a fight when you’re talking about boxing royalty,” said Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing. “I was lucky enough to promote the second one; one of the best fights I’ve ever seen up close. The first one was epic. The third one, what else can it be apart from a fight of the year contender? Chocolatito, unlucky in my opinion, not to squeeze out the victory (in the second fight). This is the trilogy. It’s going to be a great match.”
Two epic fights previously showcased “El Gallo” Estrada (43-3, 28 KOs) and “Chocolatito” González (51-3, 41 KOs) in spectacular duels that ended with alternate victories.
They faced each other in the ring for the first time in November 2012, when González won by unanimous vote in an exciting fight held in Los Angeles, California. The WBA light flyweight belt was on the line, which González was defending for the fourth time.
Almost nine years later, fate brought them together again, but this time both were super flyweights. The victory by split decision went to Estrada, thanks to the excessive score of Venezuelan judge Carlos Sucre (117-111); American judge David Sutherland (115-113) also gave the fight to Estrada, while the also American judge Jesse Reyes delivered a scorecard of 115-113 in favor of González, showing how even the action actually was throughout the 12 rounds.
In that second confrontation, held on March 13, 2021 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, a true battle unfolded from start to finish. Between the two of them 2,529 punches were thrown, a new record for the super flyweight category. Estrada logged a career-high 1,212 shots on the books, while González fired an impressive 1,317 punches.
"I did enough to win," said Estrada after the bout. "I knew it was a close fight. I didn't know if I was up or down. I needed to close out the fight in the last two rounds. If he threw two or three punches then I had to throw two or three punches as well. Chocolatito is a great fighter. He deserves a trilogy"
The third clash between Estrada and González has been scheduled three different times. In October 2021, when the two were ready to meet, the Nicaraguan tested positive for COVID-19 and the brawl had to be postponed. Five months later, Estrada had the virus and once again boxing fans were frustrated by another suspension.
Chocolatito agreed to face Mexican Julio Cesar Martínez as a substitute. They fought on March 5th at the Pechanga Arena in San Diego, California for the WBC Diamond title. González was victorious over his rival, who failed to meet the required weight.
Upon recovering from COVID-19, Estrada agreed to fight countryman Argi Cortés, whom he defeated by unanimous decision on September 3rd in Hermosillo, Mexico. Cortés (23-3-2, 10 KOs) suffered a knockdown in the 7th round.
“The first two fights were very close and controversial which is why I will make sure I show up as ready as possible and I hope that Gonzalez does too, so that this time we leave no doubt as to who the best man is, and I can’t wait to show everybody that I am the better fighter,” said Estrada.
Estrada, 32 years old and born in Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, added, “The first two were wars and this one will be no different which is why people shouldn’t miss it, it will be another guaranteed war.”
“I am confident that I already know Chocolatito. I will be very different from the first time, since a long time has passed. I'm preparing not only to win, but to get a knockout because I don't want to leave any doubts,” stated Estrada.
Article submitted by Jorge Juan Alvarez in Spanish.
Please note any adjustments made were for clarification purposes and any errors in translation were unintentional.