Gonzalez Willing To Rematch Francisco Estrada… If the Money Is Right
When Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (49-2, 41 KOs) and Juan Francisco Estrada (40-3, 27 KOs) stepped into the ring against one another on November 17, 2012, the two produced one of the best fights of the year. That night, Gonzalez defeated Estrada by unanimous decision to retain the WBA Junior Flyweight title. However, it was Estrada who left an impression on fans and pundits for how well he fought.
Both men have since moved on to achieve great success winning world titles in both the flyweight and junior bantamweight divisions.
And based on their status as two of the better and more accomplished fighters in the smaller weight division, as well as their great battle in 2012, fans have been clamoring for a rematch.
SHOW ME THE MONEY
So why have we not seen these warriors step into the ring against each other again? Much of it has to do with clout and their standing in the sport, especially in the case of Gonzalez. He not only went on to become an eventual four-division world champion, but also, at one point in his career, was recognized by ESPN and Ring Magazine as the best Pound-4-Pound boxer in the world.
That kind of distinction also comes with a price tag. As humble as the 33-year-old from Managua, Nicaragua is outside of the ring, he’s someone who wants his respect at the negotiation table.
Estrada has, in the past, claimed that Gonzalez’s demands to get highly paid are an excuse being used to avoid him. But as Gonzalez explained to journalist Levi Luna from Nicaraguan media outlet La Prensa, if the fight is to happen again, the powers that be better ante up when it comes to the cash.
“One has to receive what he’s worth. If they think I’m crazy, I can’t do anything about that. I am collecting what I am worth and everyone has their way of thinking. I’m not asking for a million, I’m asking for more than a million.
Each person fights for their interests. I don’t care how much they are giving to the other person, I just want them to settle with me. The other person is not my problem.”
The 33-year-old had hoped to have finally settled matters and fought this year, but because of obstacles outside of his control, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, it will likely not happen.
He has not fought since his stoppage win over Kal Yafai in February 2020 to capture the WBA 115-pound belt. His main concern now is to just get back into the ring.
“The important thing is to close this year with a fight. In September or October, it would be a good option [for me to return]. I have been training, maybe not at 200 percent.
But yes, I am happy. I have been running, doing heavy exercises, and motivated to know that I’m in condition. The important thing is to fight and have a job with or without an audience.”
Whether Gonzalez and Estrada fight this year or in 2021 is up in the air. Their first fight was a corker, and a rematch, even at this advanced stage of both men’s careers, would be just as good. Here’s hoping we get to finally witness it happen.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.