Juan Francisco Estrada pulls off the decision victory over Chocolatito

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Sportem
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Juan Francisco Estrada pulls off the majority decision victory over Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez and solidifies being king of the division.

It wasn’t a fight that would be discussed on commercial platforms. Still, hardcore boxing fans couldn’t wait for the third fight between Juan Francisco Estrada (44-3) and the great Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez (51-4). There were questions about whether the fight was receiving enough publicity, but when Saturday came around, there was no question that the fight fans were buzzing for this one.

The story between these two super flyweights will be told for years. Their first fight was a classic, which saw Gonzalez come out victorious. The rematch in March of 2021 was also a classic, which resulted in a highly debatable decision victory for Estrada, so we all knew that the third would be just as close.

When the bell rang to open the first round, what wasn’t noticed before but immediately came into play was the size of the ring. Estrada used his legs to move around the ring and did not allow Gonzalez to cut it off. It was clear that this was going to be the tactic used to mitigate the overwhelming offense that Gonzalez could put on his opponents. Although this was the case, it still didn’t seem as if it would be enough to stop Gonzalez, but we were all wrong, at least at the beginning of the fight.

Juan Francisco Estrada and Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez went to war for a third time

From the second round to the sixth, it seemed like the great ‘Chocolatito’ had become every bit of his age 35 overnight, and he just couldn’t keep up. His legs were slower, and those ripping combinations and counter shots weren’t coming off as often as we are all accustomed to seeing. His corner saw the same thing and pleaded with the Nicaraguan to increase the intensity and fight with anger because he was very flat in the first half of the fight.

That pep talk woke something up inside of Gonzalez, and all of a sudden, the ripping shots to the body and head were there, and Estrada was the one that looked like he had run out of gas. Don’t get me wrong, Estrada was still very much in the fight, but the edge he had over Gonzalez earlier in the fight was no longer there. Gonzalez was smothering Estrada while “catching and shooting” his punches. The crowd was going absolutely crazy as the championship rounds approached, and Gonzalez was making this legendary comeback.

The twelfth and final round was no short of great, and both men left it all in the ring. Boxing Twitter was on fire; some saw Estrada win, while others saw Gonzalez as the victor. When it was all said and done, the judges saw this one 114-114, 116-112 & 115-113 for Estrada, who won by majority decision. While NFL Sunday usually takes over the timelines, those who follow and cover the sport debated whether Gonzalez or Estrada won the fight. That is typically the sign that a highly competitive fight was shown, leaving fans wanting more.

After the fight, Estrada and Gonzalez seemed to be on the same page regarding their next opponent, which would be to fight again for the fourth time. Although Gonzalez was leaning towards being undecided about his future, he did say that the fourth fight would be something to consider. For Estrada, having the fourth fight would just add to his historic run of a career, but he may feel as though there is still more to do. One option for Estrada is to unify the titles and face the winner of WBA Champion Joshua Franco (17-1-2) and IBF Champion Kazuto Ioka (29-2). They are due to face each other in Japan on New Year’s Eve, a mega fight that can set up an even bigger one with Estrada later in 2023. Another option for Estrada can be to wait for Naoya Inoue (23-0) to move up to super bantamweight and compete for one of the vacated titles at bantamweight.

Estrada has many different options, but one thing is for sure, he is the king of the super flyweights as he holds two wins over the legendary Gonzalez. With the RING Magazine across his shoulder, he is the man to face in the division, and we will eagerly anticipate what he has planned next as we enter the new year.

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