By: Sean Crose
Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez appeared to have arrived at the end of his career. After losing controversially to the incredibly talented Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in March of 2017, the legendary Nicaraguan four division champion found himself knocked out in the rematch less than six months later. Yet Chocolatito eventually came back, winning four in a row in a little over two years, three by knockout, and earning the WBC and WBA super flyweight titles in the process. The stage was set for a rematch against Juan Francisco Estrada, who Chocolatito had bested by unanimous decision back in 2012. This time, thanks to a controversial split decision ruling on the part of the judges, it was Estrada who walked out of the ring victorious.
And now, on March 5th, the two men will meet again. “Super motivated,” the 34 year old Chocolatito told Fighthype in an interview published Tuesday. “Very, very motivated.” He has good reason to be. Many have felt that he has actually won two battles against Estrada and that the second fight resulted in an unfair decision. “He’s just really focused,” said Chocolatito’s translator. “He’s working hard just like any other camp.”
In truth, the highly anticipated third bout fight between the two decorated fighters was supposed to go down in October. Yet, as has often been the case in recent years, Covid got in the way, this time by infecting Chocolatito, and causing the bout to be postponed. Now that the fight looks like a reality once more, Chocolatito aims to be prepared. According to his translator, although he was training up until the holidays, “he went back to Nicaragua to continue training camp.” Now, though, the fighter is back in the states prepping for the rubber match.
It’s wise for Chocolatito to have been sure to remain in shape, for the second bout between he and Estrada was a terrific throwdown, controversial conclusion or not. “Location wise it’s still up in the air,” he says of the where the third bout will take place. When asked what he feels about Leo Santa Cruz’ return this March, Chocolatito provides words that can apply to every fighter. “Anything can happen in boxing,” he says.
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