Juan Francisco Estrada will meet Roman Gonzalez on March 13, 2021, at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas in a title unification bout. Gonzalez owns the WBA 115-pound belt while Estrada owns the WBC version of the title and is the Ring flyweight champion.
It marks the second meeting between these two decorated veterans. Four-division world champion Gonzalez won a close unanimous decision over two-weight class-winner Estrada in 2012 when they fought for Chocolatito’s WBA light flyweight title.
That victory came during a run where Chocolatito was one of the most dominant fighters on the planet, reaching no. 1 in the Ring’s pound for pound rankings from September 2015 to March 2017. Now, it’s Estrada who is one of the world’s best P4P fighters. El Gallo is currently 8th in the Ring’s rankings and 9th in ESPN’s pound for pound list.
Estrada came off the canvass to pick-up an 11th round stoppage of Carlos Cuadras last October 23, 2020. Gonzalez successfully defended his WBA belt against Israel Gonzales in the co-headliner of that event and the rematch plan was hatched after that.
Juan Francisco Estrada
Juan Francisco Estrada is the current WBC and Ring super flyweight champion and a two-division world titlist. The 30-year old from Puerto Penasco in Sonora, Mexico also held the WBA (unified) and WBO flyweight belts from 2012 to 2015. He is the Ring’s No. 8 ranked pound for pound fighter and its best super flyweight.
Known as El Gallo, Estrada defeated Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in April 2019 to win the WBC and Ring super flyweight titles in their rematch. Since then, he’s successfully defended the titles twice, beating Dewayne Beamon via 9th round TKO in August 2019 and knocking out former world champion Carlos Cuadras last October.
Estrada has lost just once since losing to Chocolatito in 2012. He’s gone 15-1 during that period, losing only Rungvisai via a narrow majority decision. Overall, he has a record of 41-3 with 28 knockouts. He stands 5-4 tall with a reach of 66 inches and is an orthodox fighter.
Odds from BetOnline as of 03/08/2021
Roman Gonzalez is the current WBA super flyweight king. He is the first boxer from Nicaragua to win world titles in four different weight classes, surpassing his childhood idol and former mentor Alexis Arguello. The 35-year old from Managua once ruled as the best Pound for Pound fighter on the planet from 2015-2017.
Known as Chocolatito, Gonzalez reached full superstardom status when he won the WBC and Ring flyweight titles in 2014. He made four successful title defenses including high profile bouts against Edgar Sosa, Brian Viloria, and McWilliams Arroyo. He vacated the belts to move up to super flyweight where he won the WBC belt by defeating Carlos Cuadras. However, back to back losses to Srisaket Sor Rungvisai put him back to earth.
Since suffering the only two losses of his professional boxing career, Chocolatito has picked up the pieces and won four straight bouts, three via knockout. In February 2020, he defeated Khalid Yafai to win the WBA super flyweight title. Gonzalez has a record of 50-2 with 41 knockouts. He is 5-3 tall with a reach of 64 inches and is an orthodox fighter.
There’s no question that Chocolatito is the older fighter and his body has more mileage and Estrada has also been more active in recent years. However, Gonzalez has looked impressive in his recent fights, given the circumstances. While he is no doubt declining, it has been gradual and he still looks like a world beater.
Estrada hits hard, has fast feet, and is an excellent counter-puncher. However, he does better work when he becomes the aggressor but more often than not, he likes to fire back only when his opponent misses his punches. That could be an issue against Chocolatito who likes to march forward with his hands glued to the side of his head, looking to close the distance and force a phone booth battle.
EL Gallo has excellent punching power and if he can time an uppercut, he can knock out Chocolatito here. However, Estrada’s defense is leaky as he has the tendency to stand in the pocket with his hands low, looking to counter and that could lead him to be peppered by Chocolatito’s punches.
I think Estrada will start faster in this bout, and he will use his speed, movement, and combinations to beat Gonzalez. However, Chocolatito’s pressure style will not let Estrada box comfortably. Gonzalez’s come-forward approach will also not let Estrada take off rounds like he’s used to, so he will need to pace himself well, or else he will get tired in the middle rounds.
I think that the odds are just about right here and this is going to be a close fight. I don’t mind Estrada being favored because he’s the younger fighter here. But I think Chocolatito has El Gallo’s number. Gonzalez will break Estrada down with relentless pressure and volume of punches. It’s not going to be a walk in the park. But I’ll take the plus money and the more aggressive fighter.
Prediction: Roman Gonzalez
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Make no mistake. Both men have an impressive knockout ratio. Chocolatito has 41 knockouts in 50 wins or 82% while Estrada has 28 stoppages in 41 victories or 68.29%. Gonzalez’s last three wins have been by knockout and three out of Estrada’s last four victories have been via stoppage.
Odds from BetOnline as of 03/08/2021
But these two have styles made for each other and they are both very durable fighters. Gonzalez had a bad night during the Rungvisai rematch, which ended in a knockout. Otherwise, Chocolatito has gone the distance with the best of the best. Estrada has never been knocked out himself so I expect this fight to go the distance.
Prediction: Over 10.5 (–285)
As explained above, this has the makings of a classic 12-rounder between counter-puncher and come-forward fighter. These two fought to a 12-round war nine years ago and while so much has changed since then, these two are well-matched.
Prediction: Yes (-250)
- Estrada via KO,TKO, DQ (+333)
- Estrada via Decision, Technical Decision (+130)
- Gonzalez via KO,TKO,DQ (+550)
- Gonzalez via Decision, Technical Decision (+260)
- Draw or Technical Draw (+1600)
Chocolatito should pick up a second win over Estrada here. I like him to win the exchanges in the pocket and his relentless pressure should make Estrada uncomfortable throughout the fight. I won’t blame you if you pick Estrada but the value is with Chocolatito to win on points.
Prediction: Gonzalez via Decision or Technical Decision (+260)
- If you’re betting on Chocolatito like me, go with Gonzalez via Decision, Technical Decision at +260.
- Should you pick Estrada to win, go with Estrada via Decision, Technical Decision at +130.
- If you’re unsure about which fighter to pick, go with Fight to Go The Distance, Yes at -250