It proved to be repeat and not revenge at the top of the Matchroom/DAZN bill in Mexico City, as Juan Francisco Estrada defended his WBC Super Flyweight title with an eleventh round knockout of Carlos Cuadras in what’s being spoken about as a fight of the year contender.
Estrada had beaten Cuadras by a single point on all three cards in their original meeting in September 2017, with a tenth round knockdown for Estrada proving pivotal, but the champion left no need for judges here after an almighty early scare.
It was an all action start to their sequel, and Cuadras took advantage in the third round of Estrada’s neglect for any defence, by landing a hard, short left uppercut that drove the Sonora native backwards towards the ropes and his glove touched the canvas, with only the bottom rope holding him up.
Cuadras pushed for an early finish, but it didn’t come. Estrada heeded his warning, and from the fourth, he started to assert control with his accurate punches, that were trumping Cuadras’ constant throwing and pressurising style.
Every serious exchange seemed to cause damage to Cuadras, although he would often rally with flurries of punches to keep himself in the contest, getting through on several occasions behind Estrada’s leaky defence.
With Cuadras tiring, Estrada seized his opportunity in the penultimate round as he sensed his challenger’s race was run. With just over ten seconds gone in the session, Estrada landed multiple punches, and a right hand as Cuadras tottered towards the ropes forcing him to the deck. Cuadras bravely attempted to fight fire with fire on the restart, but was badly hurt, and a counter right hand during an exchange dropped him again, this time hard as he froze upon impact of the shot.
Cuadras rose again, and showed tremendous bravery to carry on swinging, but an accumulation of punches forced the referee to rightly stop Cuadras on his feet, and end what was a war, with both men wearing heavy battle scars.
Fight of the year?#EstradaCuadraspic.twitter.com/abP8mgPo0c
— World Boxing Council (@WBCBoxing) October 24, 2020
That win for Estrada paved the way for another rematch for him, this time with Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez, and the Nicaraguan kept his end of the bargain on the bill by defending his WBA (Super) belt against his namesake, Israel Gonzalez via comfortable unanimous decision. Chocolatito widely defeated Estrada some eight years ago, but the pair have now been reunited in what should be a 2021 mouth watering clash.
33 year old Roman set a high pace in this one that Israel struggled to match, and this allowed the champion to take most of the early rounds with impressive attacks to head and body. Israel did have sporadic moments of success during the contest, but ultimately struggled to deal with his vastly experienced opponent’s combination work, and as a result he found himself outworked, and the result was in little doubt when it went to the cards. Scores of 118-110, 117-111 and 116-112 confirmed the win for Chocolatito.
The third world title bout on the card went the way of Julio Cesar Martinez, who routinely defended his WBC Flyweight crown with a second round stoppage of late notice substitute, Moises Calleros. Calleros stepped in for IBO champion, Maximino Flores, who tested positive for COVID earlier in the week.
This young King is one of the most exciting fighters on the planet! https://t.co/CgU0hCirAo
— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) October 24, 2020
Calleros was no match here, and wasn’t eligible to win the belt anyway after weighing in heavy. A three punch combination signalled Martinez’s intent in the opener, as he dropped Calleros heavily, and the challenger did well to see out the round. The onslaught continued into the second, as Martinez unloaded spiteful punches along the ropes, and after another two fisted attack, the referee stepped in and had seen enough.
Otha Jones III suffered the first blemish on his professional record, as he was held to a split draw by Kevin Montiel Mendoza over six at Super Featherweight. Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams remained unbeaten, with a fifth round stoppage against Esau Herrera at Middleweight, while at Super Middleweight, Diego Pacheco moved to 10-0 with a second round stoppage of Juan Antonio Mendez.
👊 ⬆️ 😴 @realdpacheco @DAZN_USA | #EstradaCuadras pic.twitter.com/YyU6rZoED9
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) October 24, 2020