By: Sean Crose
It looked like onetime junior bantamweight beltholder Carlos Cuadras would be forced to drop out of his rematch with WBC junior bantamweight champ Juan Francisco Estrada this Friday. The 39-3-1 Cuadras had tested positive for Covid-19, and therefore his dream of regaining a world title seemed to be out of reach. The 32 year old retested, however, and the test came out negative. That means Cuadras will be able to attempt to avenge his 2017 UD loss to Estrada Friday evening at the Gimnasio TV Azteca in Mexico City. The rematch will be the main event on a packed card that will be aired live on the DAZN streaming service.
The unanimous decision loss to Estrada over 36 months ago was the beginning of a two fight losing streak that also saw Cuadras drop a majority decision to McWilliams Arroyo at the Forum in Inglewood, California. The man known as Principe came back and won three straight, however, against Ricardo Nunez, Daniel Lozano and Jose Maria Cardenas respectively. Now, over three years after the first Estrada fight, Cuadras is ready to meet Estrada once more. The match will be for Estrada’s WBC junior bantamweight belt…and is taking place in Cuadras’ hometown of Mexico City, no less.
As for the defending champion, the 30 year old, 40-3 Estrada will be defending his belt for the second time after winning the strap via unanimous decision from Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in a 2019 rematch of their 2018 fight (which Sor Rungvisai won by majority decision). Estrada was last in the ring in August of 2019 when he stopped Dewayne Beamon in the ninth round at Mexico’s Centro de Usos Multiples. Both Estrada and Cuadras have lost to Roman Gonzalez (who will also be appearing on Friday’s card), Estrada in 2012, and Cuadras in 2016.
The first throwdown between Cuadras and Estrada was a close, intriguing, high octane affair that saw a lot of leather being thrown. That bout was a WBC title eliminator. The rematch is for the belt itself. Although both men are slightly older than when they last met, there’s no doubt that each man has heart and courage in abundance. This looks to be an exciting fight where the combatants are apt to leave it all on the ring. The card will be streamed live on the DAZN streaming service beginning at 9 pm eastern time.