Roman Gonzalez and Juan Francisco Estrada won their respective matches this weekend, paving the way for a rematch. Here’s a rundown of the results from the Gonzalez vs. Yaegashi and Estrada vs. Segura matches.
Roman Gonzalez TKO9 Akira Yaegashi
Nicaraguan power puncher Roman Gonzalez furthered his burgeoning reputation as one of boxing’s pound for pound best with a sensational ninth round stoppage of Japanese tough nut Akira Yaegashi.
Yaegashi took the opening round with his movement and fought well throughout the opening quarter generally, but the tide of the fight turned in the third round, when Gonzalez dropped Yaegashi with a short left hook. Fighting well as Gonzalez maneuvered him around the ring, Yaegashi lost focus for a brief second, leaving his chin in the air as he threw a combination. Gonzalez traded with him and came off the better, with the hook detonating on Yaegashi’s jaw and sending him to the canvas.
Yaegashi recovered from the knockdown, and even won the fifth on this writer’s scorecard, though there was an air of the inevitable following the knockdown. Conspicuous swelling began to emerge around the eyes of Yaegashi, an issue he has had in the past, and Gonzalez was only ratcheting up the pressure with his smooth and accurate combination punching combined with the application of intelligently aggressive footwork.
In the eighth, as Gonzalez continued his assault, Yaegashi began to appear a spent force. Every shot Gonzalez pitched through the guard hit Yaegashi’s static head, and as Yaegashi missed with a left hook he stumbled across the ring. It was a telling sign.
As Gonzalez continued to work away the referee slipped as he scampered across the ring, perhaps with the idea of halting proceedings. The slip allowed the fight to continue on, and Yaegashi made it to the ninth and ultimately final round.
The Japanese fighter came out firing at the beginning of that ninth. It was his last stand. For a split second it seemed he might just have caught Gonzalez on his heels. Perhaps Gonzalez was about to tire? It was wishful thinking. Gonzalez waited out Yaegashi’s brief onslaught before returning with volleys of his own sickening punches.
The end was nigh and it was only Yaegashi’s astounding bravery that prolonged the fight’s conclusion. Gonzalez landed a beautiful flush five-shot combination; left uppercut, right hand, left uppercut, right uppercut, left hand, and Yaegashi tumbled to the canvas for the last time. The fight was stopped, and Gonzalez had another hugely significant win to add to his ledger.
Juan Francisco Estrada TKO11 Giovani Segura
With Gonzalez having won, it was now up to Estrada to do his bit to set up a rematch with the Nicaraguan for flyweight supremacy and the Mexican didn’t waste time in imposing himself on his fellow countryman in the very first round. Segura – a naturally offensive slugger, found himself in the strange situation of being on the backfoot as Estrada surged forward, landing straight, hard shots and putting down a marker for the fight ahead.
It was uncharacteristic of Segura, he appeared physically as well as technically outgunned from the beginning. It set the tone for a very one-sided fight. As each round progressed the direness of the quagmire in which the experienced brawler found himself in only intensified. Every time he threw those renowned heavy blows of his, his forward lurches were timed and repudiated by the younger man. Estrada looked sensational.
Around the fifth round, marks were appearing on the right side of Segura’s face. This fight had shades of his defeat to Brian Viloria three years ago. Estrada continued to land the cleaner, more effective blows, picking up round after round. By the halfway point, it appeared that if Segura had any chance of winning, it lay in one big shot – the points difference was already virtually insurmountable.
There was a degree of helplessness as Segura trundled around the ring, his power dulled by repeatedly being stung by Estrada’s faster, fresher punches. As the fight wore on Estrada continued to eat the odd shot, but they were temporary roadblocks, and he showed no signs of being affected by Segura’s power.
A left hook in the eleventh caused Segura to fall into the ropes, and as Estrada went in to finish in style the referee showed the appropriate compassion in stopping the fight as Segura’s corner threw in the towel. The stage for Gonzalez vs Estrada II had been well and truly set.