By: Hans Themistode
Roman Gonzalez remembers the aches and pains that came from his contest against Juan Francisco Estrada in 2012. He also remembers getting his hand raised in the end.
For the multiple division world champion, he’ll look to recreate that same winning feeling when they face off against one another this Saturday night at the American Airlines Center in Dallas Texas. The bumps and bruises that came shortly after his victory is something he recalls vividly.
But while most would shy away from the impending train wreck that is set to take place, Gonzalez (50-2, 41 KOs) simply smiles and welcomes the guaranteed carnage.
“It’s going to be a beautiful fight,” said Gonzalez during a recent press conference.
Since their first fight, things have changed. No longer is Gonzalez a constant fixture on virtually every pound-for-pound list. Ironically enough, Estrada (41-3, 28 KOs) has taken his place.
With to back losses at the hands of Wisaksil Wangek, the latter coming of the knockout variety, many are under the impression that Gonzalez is on the backend of his career. Whether he’s closer to retirement or not, he proved that he still has something left to give as he outclassed, dropped and later knocked out Khalid Yafai for his WBA super flyweight world title in February of 2020.
Gonzalez has since followed that emphatic win up with a one-sided decision victory over Israel Gonzalez to close out the pandemic-stricken year.
Despite the recent success, the betting public is still siding with Estrada come fight night.
Never has Gonzalez been one to argue with anyone. With that said, he simply believes he knows his opponent inside and out. That experience, coupled with his still elite skills, has him firmly under the impression that he’ll get the job done once the opening bell rings.
“We’re ready for this fight. Juan is a good champion but we know what we have to do.”
Throughout the entire buildup to their showdown, Gonzalez has been stoic and at times immobilized. Come Saturday night, however, he’ll let his hands go and engage in what could turn out to be a fight of the year candidate as most of the world sits back completely numb and in awe.
While Gonzalez knows that his Nicaraguan countrymen will cheer for him until their throats are sore, he is also fully aware that Estrada’s supporters will back their man to no end.
“I think both countries are going to be paralyzed watching this fight. It’s going to be a great fight.”