It’s a cracker of a card at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas this Saturday night, as Matchroom USA hosts a night of some quality on DAZN.
Topping this bill is a rematch over eight years in the making of a 2012 classic.
The WBC and WBA (Super) Super Flyweight titles are up for grabs as WBC boss, and three-weight world champion, Juan Francisco Estrada (41-3, KO28) locks horns once again with four-weight world champion, and current WBA (Super) king, Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez (50-2, KO41).
It should be an absolute cracker, and the pair need little introduction. They originally met in November 2012 at Light Flyweight in what was Estrada’s first world title challenge.
After giving it his all in his attempt at the WBA Light Flyweight crown, but in a pulsating fight, Gonzalez ran out an unanimous points winner in Los Angeles.
Estrada would bounce back immediately, claiming the WBA (Super) and WBO belts in a split decision win against Brian Viloria, and he has since claimed world titles at Flyweight and Super Flyweight.
He lost in a challenge for the WBC Super Flyweight title against Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in February 2018 via majority decision, but just over a year later, ‘El Gallo’ turned the tables and defeated the Thai unanimously.
Since then he has defended twice, and was last out in October 2020, stopping Carlos Cuadras in 11 in a rematch of a fight he won on the cards three years earlier.
It’s a golden age in the Super Flyweight division, and Roman Gonzalez was the cream of the crop until a dip in form in 2017.
‘Chocolatito’ was touted for pound-for-pound stardom, and was a favourite amongst hardcore fans that watched his early career.
He made the crossover to the USA with early promise, but was then stunned by Srisaket in March 2017, with a first round knockdown proving crucial in a majority verdict.
An immediate rematch was set to right the wrongs, but the Nicaraguan was wiped out in four rounds to leave his career in tatters.
Two lowkey return wins built confidence, and Gonzalez got back to his best by routing Kal Yafai, stopping the Birmingham man in nine to win the WBA title.
Gonzalez was last out in October on the same bill as Estrada to drum up interest in the rematch, and he widely outscored his namesake, Israel Gonzalez, to keep his belt.
Prediction: This should be a thriller, and could see drama aplenty.
The rematch has marinated nicely, and Gonzalez will face a different Estrada this time around.
I think it will be a tense one from first bell to last, but I feel the ‘Chocolatito’ will overcome some rocky moments to eventually halt Estrada in the very late rounds.
If the main course wasn’t good enough, there is another rematch on the menu, with a multitude of gold on the line.
Jessica McCaskill (9-2, KO3) notched a deserved but unexpected majority points win against Cecelia Braekhus (36-1, KO9) in August 2020, as ‘CasKILLA’ took the Columbia born Norwegian’s WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO Welterweight titles in a surprise result.
McCaskill boxed superbly that night in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and she will be looking to repeat the trick against Braekhus, who was widely regarded as at the top end of the pound-for-pound list prior to that meeting.
I think Braekhus will have learned her lessons this time though, and favour the ‘First Lady’ to turn the tables in a tight points win.
A third world title fight is on the bill, and Japan’s Hiroto Kyoguchi (14-0, KO9) defends his WBA (Super) Light Flyweight title against Mexico’s Axel Aragon Vega (14-3-1, KO8).
Kyoguchi won the belt December 2018, stopping South Africa’s Hekkie Budler in ten, and he has defended twice since in his homeland.
Vega has previously challenged for world honours in October 2019, but a technical decision cost him the WBO Minimumweight crown on the cards. Kyoguchi should take this one on the cards.
There is plenty of talent on show in the preliminaries, all over a scheduled eight rounds. Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams (7-0, KO6) takes a step up in class, and he takes on former George Groves and David Benavidez victim, Denis Douglin (22-7, KO14), at Middleweight.
Douglin is a faded version of his former self, and Williams can score a stoppage around the halfway mark.
At Featherweight, Raymond Ford (8-0, KO4) meets Aaron Perez (10-0, KO6) in a battle of unbeatens.
Ford is a talent, and Perez has a mainly padded record, so Ford can come through here inside schedule.
At Super Welterweight, Souleymane Cissokho (11-0, KO7) can halt Daniel Echeverria (21-10, KO18) early, with the Mexican stopped four times in ten defeats, and at Super Lightweight, Movladdin Biyarslanov (7-0, KO6) goes for win number eight.