Roman Gonzalez Puts On Masterclass Performance Against Julio Cesar Martinez!
At the Pechanga Arena in San Diego, California, Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (51-3, 41 KOs) faced current WBC flyweight champ “El Rey” Julio Cesar Martinez (18-2, 14 KOs) in a twelve-round junior bantamweight contest. Gonzalez has long established himself as one of the great fighters of his era. Having captured world titles at 105, 108, 112, and 115 pounds, the former pound for pound king has done just about everything one could do in this sport. The great warrior from Nicaragua is no doubt a future first ballot Hall of Famer.
Next up was Martinez, a replacement for current WBA 115-pound champ Juan Francisco Estrada, who withdrew after contracting COVID-19. “El Rey” splashed on the scene in December 2019 when he stopped Cristofer Rosales in nine to win the vacant WBC 112-pound title. The 27-year-old from Mexico City, Mexico has made four defenses of that title. With the sudden opportunity to face a living legend, he jumped at the opportunity.
SOLVING THE PUZZLE
After a feel-out opening round, Gonzalez picked up the pace in the second. One of the things that makes him so special is his outstanding punch distribution. The vet is marvelous at never throwing the same combinations twice in a row as he began to warm like a beehive.
Martinez attempted to answer with hard punch flurries. But the shots were wide and easy to see, and Gonzalez was able to block the punches with ease. As early as the fourth, “Chocolatito” was in full rhythm.
GETTING RUN OVER
The Mexican’s only chance was to somehow force the Nicaraguan on the back foot, but he couldn’t penetrate Gonzalez’s high guard. Plus, he was visibly starting to tire. Martinez could sense that “El Rey” was starting to wilt.
Gonzalez continued with his withering assault in the later rounds. In the championship rounds, he was giving him a beating. For the flyweight champion, the only reason he lasted the distance was because of heart and will.
EVERYTHING’S ON THE TABLE
It was a masterclass performance from Gonzalez who won by unanimous decision (118-110, 117-111, 116-112). What’s next for him is unknown. His original opponent, Estrada, has been mandated to fight WBA Regular 115 pound champ Joshua Franco. The other champions in the division are WBC champion Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez, WBO champ Kazuto Ioka and newly crowned champ Fernando Martinez. Overall, junior bantamweight is one of the best divisions in the sport. After the fight, Gonzalez said he’s willing to face anyone, so long as the money is good.
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By: Michael Wilson Jr.