Juan Francisco Estrada wins questionable split decision to even record at 1-1 versus Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez; adds WBA and Ring titles to his WBC championship
DALLAS, Texas (March 13, 2021) — Matchroom Boxing completed the 8-year task of delivering the highly anticipated rematch between current WBC champion Juan Francisco Estrada and WBA champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez. The event landed at Dallas, Texas’ American Airlines Arena with DAZN handling the live streaming for what turned out to be an instant classic.
The two fighters, who represent 2 of 3 of the division’s “Lords of The Flies” along Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, combined to throw over 2,000 punches in what culminated in a fistic nail-biter. Gonzalez (50-2, 41 KOs) was credited with a landed punch advantage of 391 to 314 over 12 rounds of brilliant boxing. In the end, Estrada (41-3, 28 KOs) avenged his November 2012 loss to Gonzalez with shocking score totals of 113-115, 117-111, and 115-113 for a split decision.
Estrada fought composed, appeared to drop most of the fight’s first half rounds, and was advised by his corner, with just a couple of rounds to go, that a stoppage was required for a win. The fight finished without so much as a knockdown, but the judges certainly disagreed with El Gallo’s corner.
Estrada started fiercely to open the bout. He threw a short set of meaningful punches. Gonzalez backed away, raised his guard and settled in looking to patiently box. Estrada established his pace
Gonzalez continued to inch his way towards Estrada in Rounds 2 and 3. The action was back and forth with both fighters having solid moments. Estrada fought sharply moving forward, as well as off his back-foot when necessary.
In Round 4, Gonzalez continued pressing forward behind his high guard. Estrada circled to his left at times. He also adjusted to Gonzalez’ pressure and worked off his back-foot. Gonzalez appeared to seize the momentum of the fight, but Estrada’s body language revealed very little.
Estrada responded to Gonzalez’ momentum early in Round 5. Estrada moved forward. Gonzalez moved side-to-side with subtle shifts to set up some in-and-out attacks. The round was hard fought. Gonzalez continued to find ways to offset Estrada’s faster hands.
Both fighters jabbed away in the opening minute of Round 6. But then Estrada went to work with a solid uppercut and good work with his left hook. Gonzalez came back. Estrada started fighting fiercely with Gonzalez. Estrada re-established himself in the fight.
Gonzalez landed the first big right hand of Round 7. In the second minute Estrada landed a thudding right hand. Gonzalez responded with a short burst. Seconds later Estrada returned fire and continued to beat Gonzalez to the punch when inside. Both fighters turned and came together to rip off 2- and 3-punch combinations to keep the scoring neck-and-neck. But Estrada’s punching seemed to have the greater effect.
In Round 8, Estrada’s momentum continued to build. Gonzalez landed clean punches in spots. Estrada asserted himself and Gonzalez fought in spurts. The round was close and could’ve gone either way.
Round 9 was a somewhat tamed round. The two fighters boxed evenly. Estrada landed in volume early in the round’s final minute. Gonzalez landed solid single shots in response. Both men punched with fury the final 20 seconds.
With the final quarter of the fight remaining, Estrada’s corner advised the Mexican champion that a knockout was required. Gonzalez was back moving forward. Estrada fought poised, he threw punches with purpose, but avoided fighting reckless. Gonzalez was more steady throughout Round 10, but the fight remained close.
Estrada opened the 11th round with a big surge. Gonzalez weathered the first 90 seconds. Both fighters stood inside exchanging for the majority of the round. The action was tight and fierce. Very little, if anything, separated the two but both attacked knowing that the fight was still close.
The final championship round opened with an eruption of punches from both fighters. Neither man took a step back. Gonzalez attacked longer and stronger over the final 90 seconds. Estrada responded and often had the quicker hands, but Gonzalez just willed himself to seizing control of the round.
All photos by Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing