In a rematch some eight years in the making, the sequel didn’t disappoint whatsoever as Juan Francisco Estrada gained revenge against Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez with an absorbing split decision win on Saturday.
Estrada (42-3, 28 KOs) added Gonzalez’s WBA (Super) Super Flyweight title to his WBC crown as a result of his victory at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.
The duo met in 2012, with Gonzalez (50-3, 41 KOs) taking a thrilling unanimous points win when they did battle at Light Flyweight, but this time it was a much closer affair, with the result in the balance all the way through.
Estrada was keen to get on the front foot from the off, driving Gonzalez back and began brightly, setting the pace in the first round and forcing the Nicaraguan to resort to a watching brief in the opener.
The Mexican was working well to the body and was dominant in the early going, landing well to head and body, but Chocolatito started to land with some hard right hooks of his own towards the end of the second frame.
The contest really opened up in the third, as the pair exchanged spiteful shots with both trying to wrestle control from the other, and the fourth and fifth saw more of the same, with the two taking turns to dish out punishment.
Gonzalez was starting to turn the screw, nailing Estrada with power punches when the ‘El Gallo’ was attempting to load up, and he was getting the better of the exchanges in the main as the fight reached its second half, with the sixth session a classic.
Chocolatito was having to take shots from his rival, but he was countering to great effect, with the fight already a war as advertised.
Estrada and Chocolatito threw for a combined 2,519 punches. 😳 pic.twitter.com/ZK6qByRcTe
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) March 14, 2021
Estrada began to come back into things though, keeping the 33-year-old at bay by leading off with multiple shot combinations as he started to force Gonzalez back, and the crowd were lapping up the thrilling action.
The 30-year-old was taking advantage of Gonzalez’s output slowing down slightly, and the phone box-type war continued into the championship rounds, with Estrada’s accuracy allowing him to freely land between the body and head of his foe.
Four-weight world champion, Chocolatito gained a second wind as the fight went into the tenth, with his short, sharp blows bringing him much success, but had to be on his mettle as Estrada also made his move to claim victory.
On behalf of boxing fans all around the World I want to say thank you to @GalloEstradaOfi and @chocolatitobox – that was the greatest fight I have ever watched live @daznboxing 🙏🇲🇽🇳🇮 pic.twitter.com/LcsxigBcPE
— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) March 14, 2021
The pair hardly ever stopped throwing punches, but going into the final round it looked as though Estrada needed a big round more than his opponent, although the contest was in the balance.
The concluding frame saw both men lay it on the line, as they threw a combined over 2000 punches during the bout, and the 12th saw no different, with the two going for broke and leaving everything in the ring, with clean shots exchanged.
A breathless classic went to the scorecards, and a 115-113 score for Gonzalez was trumped by a way too wide 117-111 and a much more understandable 115-113 win for Estrada. A trilogy fight is an absolute natural, although Estrada is in line for a third fight with WBC mandatory Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.
— Lance Pugmire (@pugboxing) March 14, 2021
“Rungvisai is a mandatory, so I’ll look at that,” Estrada said post-fight to DAZN.
“But I’ll approach a third fight any day with ‘Chocolatito.'”
McCaskill beats Braekhus again to retain undisputed crown
The chief support had a wealth of gold on the line, and it was repeat and not revenge, as Jessica McCaskill kept hold of the WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO Welterweight titles with a wide points win against former champion, Cecilia Braekhus (36-2, 9 KOs).
The rematch was expected to be a tight one, with the American taking the original meeting via a tight majority decision in August 2020.
There was no need for controversy this time, as McCaskill (10-2, 3 KOs) controlled the action in the main, and took a clear cut win on the scorecards over her 39-year-old foe.
Scores of 100-89, 99-90 and 98-91 confirmed a wide win for the 36-year-old, who stated her intentions to fight either undisputed Super Welterweight champion, Claressa Shields or undisputed Lightweight titlist, Katie Taylor next, in what would be a rematch.
At Light Flyweight, Hiroto Kyoguchi (15-0, 10 KOs) retained his WBA (Super) title, as his opponent, Axel Aaron Vega (14-4-1, 8 KOs) was unable to continue their contest at the end of five rounds, due to a hand injury.
There was a surprise at Featherweight where hot prospect Raymond Ford was held to a controversial split draw by Aaron Perez with the two retaining their unbeaten records.
The eight rounder was split three ways, with Perez (10-0-1, 6 KOs) getting a 78-74 nod, Ford (8-0-1, 4 KOs) taking a 77-75 verdict, and the third a 76-76 draw.
Middleweight Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams (8-0, 6 KOs) took an eight round decision win against tough, late replacement, Dennis Douglin (22-8, 14 KOs) by scores of 79-73 twice and 77-75, and Souleymane Cissokho (12-0, 8 KOs) stopped Daniel Echeverria (21-11, 18 KOs) in the sixth of their scheduled Super Welterweight eight rounder.