Posts Tagged ‘Roman Gonzalez’

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The king is dead and the vultures are out to pick at the corpse of former Pound 4 Pound #1 Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez.

Last night, Gonzalez suffered his second defeat and first KO loss at the hands of bruiser Sor Rungvisai. Unlike their Fight of the Year contender in March, this was not competitive. Rungvisai’s hooks to the body physically knocked Chocolatito across the ring. The former champion’s energy seemed to wilt with every exchange. His famed pressure and combination punching were absent as Rungvisai’s power kept him hesitant and fearful. And inside of four rounds, two monstrous right hooks put down Gonzalez twice for the emphatic stoppage and possible end to his career as an elite fighter.

Within seconds of the fight being waved off, the less informed of the boxing masses began their synopsis of Gonzalez’s career. “Hypejob” and “overrated” were thrown around a lot, and even those who knew better, like former HBO executive and veteran promoter Lou DiBella, got in on the hot takes.


So what does this say about our sport when possibly the best smaller weight fighter of the last decade gets dismissed with such callous disregard? It says that boxing community, particularly those in the United States, have a profound ignorance of fighters not spoon fed to them on the cable networks. HBO got on the Chocolatito bandwagon late in 2015, and frankly only did so after the mass exodus of its potential stars at the hands of the PBC. But well before then, Gonzalez had already laid down at Hall of Fame resume.

Before his HBO debut against Edgar Sosa, Gonzalez had already won titles in three weight classes (lineal at 112) and compiled a record 41-0 (10-0 in world title fights). Included in that record are elite former and current world titlists like Juan Francisco Estrada, Akira Yargaeshi, Katsunair Takayama, Ramon Garcia, Yutaka Niida and Francisco Rodriguez Jr. And while these names might not jump out at you, their combined records at the time of facing Gonzalez was 121-12-4.

Here’s a bit more perspective on Gonzalez’s so-called overrated status compared to his Pound 4 Pound peers. Most lists have a variation of these names: Andre Ward, Terrence Crawford, Vasyl Lomachenko, Guillermo Rigondeaux, Gennady Golovkin, Canelo Alvarez, Sergey Kovalev, Mikey Garcia, Manny Pacquiao and Naoya Inoue. If you include Manny, he’s the only one along with Gonzalez that’s competed in at least four different weight classes.

When Ward moved up to 175, his first opponent was Paul Smith. Crawford is his move to 140 tested the waters against Thomas Dulorme. Pacquiao and Mayweather entered their fourth weight classes against David Diaz and Sharmba Mitchell, respectively. All these opponents pale in comparison to Carlos Cuadras, the undefeated former WBC title-holder who was Gonzalez’s first opponent at super flyweight last year. In that Fight of the Year contender which likely ended Gonzalez’s prime, he fought through two swollen eyes to continuously walk down Cuadras to earn a unanimous decision.

If you want to criticize Chocolatito for not “easing” his way into a division like some of the others just named, consider the difference in mentality. The sub-featherweight fighters, long ignored by the mainstream, don’t have the luxury of feasting for years off exhibition fights against overmatched opposition. To maximize money in their relatively short careers, they face elite competition very early. That’s why a guy like Naoya Inoue, who made his HBO debut last night, is already a lineal champion with titles in two weight classes despite having just 14 fights. It’s why Gonzalez and Estrada had a light flyweight “superfight” back in 2012 with little of the hassle we saw for years with Mayweather-Pacquiao and more recently in the Golovkin-Canelo delays (admittedly, the Gonzalez-Estrada rematch is another story).

With the great, late Alexis Arguello as his mentor, Roman Gonzalez was nurtured to be a fighter from a different cloth. Like the Explosive Thin Man, Gonzalez strived to meet the biggest challenge in each weight division. In a surreal parallel, Arguello also met his end in his fourth weight class when he opted to face the biggest threat at 140 pounds, Aaron Pryor, rather than selecting an easier title-holder.

There is no middle ground when you strive for greatness in the Sweet Science. You either ascend with a thrilling victory or get snuffed out by crushing defeat. This year, Gonzalez got his first taste of the latter. But as we lay this king to rest, let’s remember his dominance, ring brilliance, and audacity to be great that’s far too rare in the modern era. And maybe we take a little solace in hoping the sacrifices Roman Gonzalez made will keep the mainstream door open for the Little Big Men of the sport.



Former Pound 4 Pound #1 Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez looks for revenge Saturday night in his rematch with against Sor Rungvisai. Today’s “Superfly” weigh-in is being streamed below and includes the loaded undercard of Carlos Cuadras vs. Juan Francisco Estrada, and the United States debut of The “Monster” Naoya Inoue vs. Antonio Nieves.


*UPDATE* 3:13AM – That’s all from fight night. More news from this night of boxing will be published on Sunday.

NEW YORK CITY — Tonight, BeatsBoxingMayhem will be live from Madison Square Garden providing live updates for every fight. Check back often here and on Twitter for commentary on the entire night of boxing.

GOLOVKIN GETS CONTROVERSIAL DECISION OVER JACOBS: This one lived up to the billing of “Big Drama Show.” There was high tension throughout the 12 rounds. Was Jacobs gaining momentum? Was Golovkin one shot away from ending it? I had Jacobs surging in the championship rounds to even it up at 104 headed into the 12th round.

The 12th was a clear GGG round; I felt Golovkin’s shots had more impact. That and the earlier knockdown (also controversial), was enough to give Golovkin a narrow 114-113 win on my card.

Neither guy’s stock should drop. GGG pressed the fight and attempted to walk down a much larger man with a dangerous punch. And Jacobs utilized a sound strategy of movement and switch-hitting to confuse Golovkin. If those boos directed at Golovkin during his post-fight interview are any indication, Jacobs will finally get some respect in his  hometown.


RUNGVISAI STUNS CHOCOLATITO: What a war. Chocolatito was dropped by a balance shot to the body in the first, cut by a butt in the third, and facing the brute strength of a natural super flyweight. Gonzalez looked to be in trouble banging with the bigger man, but his accuracy and combinations got him back in it by the middle rounds.

From in the arena, I thought the critical mistake Chocolatito made came in the late rounds. I had him getting outworked in rounds 9-11, but sealing the deal with a strong 12th to take it 114-112. Instead, the judges had it 114-112 twice for Rungvisai and 113-113.

I couldn’t cosign the booing for Rungvisai. Yes, the favorite lost, but we got a great fight from both men. One thing that can’t be questioned is that Chocolatito is completely maxed out at this weight. This is around the age smaller fighters start to decline, so K2 needs to maximize the elite-level fights he has left, namely the Inoue and Estrada fights should Gonzalez get by Rungvisai in the rematch.


CARLOS CUADRAS UD10 DAVID CARMONA: Carlos Cuadras’s decision win over David Carmona may have given Roman Gonzalez a blueprint for an easier rematch. The normally fleet-footed Cuadras opted for a more stationary approach that allowed him to counter with power. Unfortunately for Cuadras, he’s not used to leading, making for awkward exchanges and him lunging to initiate offense.

Cuadras never got out of first gear and it nearly cost him. In terms of excitement, the most interesting moments in the late rounds came from Carmona getting rough. He stunned Cuadras with a hard overhand right in the seventh and hurt him to the body in the eighth. Carmona also was the more active over the last two rounds. The judges saw it differently, giving Cuadras the unanimous decision with scores of97-93 twice and 96-94.

This Cuadras was a far-cry from the one we saw lump up Gonzalez last year. Maybe he underestimated Carmona. Whatever the reason, Cuadras better get it together before the inevitable Gonzalez rematch.


RYAN MARTIN TKO8 BRYANT CRUZ: Ryan Martin improved his undefeated record with a dominant stoppage over Bryant Cruz. Martin used his size and reach advantage to keep the bout at mid-range where his size and reach allowed for repeated left hook counters and body work. Although Cruz remained scrappy, the punishment began visibly taking a toll in the fifth when he was hurt by a straight right.

The remaining action was one-way traffic with Cruz getting strafed any time he went to the ropes. It was this scenario in the eighth that put an end to the fight. Martin’s record improves to 18-0, 11 KOs.



ANDY LEE UD8 DE’ANDRE LEATHERWOOD: 14 months of inactivity resulted in a disappointing return for veteran Andy Lee, who won a lackluster unanimous decision over unheralded De’Andre Leatherwood. Lee spent most of the fight waiting for big counter punching opportunities that never came. While Leatherwood’s output was equally low, the career journeyman did manage to land at least one or two clean right-hand counters per round that kept Lee cautious.

The crowd began letting both men have it just two minutes into the fight. Yells of “Wake up, Andy!” and ‘C’mon, Andy!” were heard periodically throughout the night from diehard supporters.

Sensing the fight slipping away, Lee took m0re chances in rounds 6-8. Lee got the better of their sporadic exchanges via his formidable left hand, but Leatherwood was never in serious danger. Nonetheless, Lee aggression was viewed favorably by the judges, and he won the decision via scores of 80-72, 78-74, and 79-73.




Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, recognized by many as the #1 Pound 4 Pound fighter in the world, will make his second appearance at super flyweight when he faces Srisaket Sor Rungvisai March 18 on the Golovkin-Jacobs undercard. Competing now in his fourth weight class, the talk around Gonzalez centers on when and if we’ll see him tangle with the division’s most fearsome puncher, Naoya Inoue.

But before we salivate further on that potential superfight, Gonzalez faces a serious danger to his undefeated record in Rungvisai, who’s spent the majority of his career at super flyweight and boosts an 83% knockout ratio. Below, we look at three reasons why Gonzalez must not take the Thai slugger lightly and improve on his last outing against Carlos Cuadras.

1. DURABLE AND RELENTLESS: Outside of being thrown to the wolves early on and losing his first two fights by KO (one to future champion Akira Yaegashi), Rungvisai has been one of the most durable fighters at super flyweight. As an aggressive, seek n’ destroy southpaw, he prides himself on taking his opponent’s best shots before breaking them down on the ropes with clubbing left hands.

By virtue of his amazing versatility on offense, Gonzalez is usually able to force his opponents to give ground. In Rungvisai, Gonzalez has a foe that will welcome the risk of exchanging due to the former’s chin and power. Don’t be surprised if Gonzalez is forced to create off the backfoot much like Cuadras had to in their 2014 bout.


2. A WEIGHT CLIMB TOO HIGH: Gonzalez made history last September in becoming the first Nicaraguan fighter to win a title in his fourth weight class by defeating Cuadras via unanimous decision. It was a remarkable achievement that came with a high price — Gonzalez took heavy blows in the late rounds and had to persevere through swollen eyes to get the victory. It was the highest amount of punishment we’ve seen Gonzalez take in his career.

Unlike at lower weight classes, Gonzalez’s best punches weren’t enough to finish off Cuadras and left Chocolatito exhausted in the later rounds. The toll of going to war with a naturally larger man had Gonzalez looking weary despite facing a fighter who mostly fights off the backfoot.

With Rungvisai, the roles will be reversed in the bigger man hunting Gonzalez.

“I respect Roman Gonzalez,” says Rungvisai. “He is a legend. He has done great things for boxing, especially by showing the world how talented and exciting smaller weight fighters can be. I am happy for Nicaragua to have such a great hero. However, super flyweight is my weight. And the WBC Super Flyweight World title belt is my belt.

I will do whatever it takes to win my belt back, and I am confident I can do it. I was able to hurt Carlos Cuadras in the way that Gonzalez could not. Cuadras did not hurt me when we fought but he hurt Gonzalez throughout their fight last year. I am confident I can beat Roman Gonzalez. And the fight will not go twelve rounds.”


3. LOOKING AHEAD AND NOT OVER THE HORIZON: At first glance, it might sound crazy to suggest that Gonzalez might have peaked or reached the end of his prime at 29 years old. But smaller fighters (flyweights and lower) usually don’t continue competing at a high level past their early 30s. The main reason for that is due to less politics and having to face elite competition early. Both of Gonzalez’s 2016 fights, against McWilliams Arroyo and Cuadras, were taxing fights that went the distance. The last time Gonzalez went the distance in back to back fights? 2009.

That brings us to our final point. Having put in work for over 10 year to amass a 46-0 record and get on HBO, Gonzalez is looking to maximize his earnings for his remaining years. He’s on record as wanting a cool $1 million to rematch Juan Francisco Estrada. There’s the Cuadras rematch in the pipeline, and of course the “Monster Fight” against Inoue. Those three names are more known and lucrative than Rungvisai’s. But if Gonzalez has not used these last six months to improve his defense and stamina, Rungvisai has the ability to hand him his first defeat.

Roman Gonzalez vs. Srisket Sor Rungvisai will air on the March 18 HBO pay-per-view undercard of Gennady Golokin vs. Danny Jacobs. The fight will be for Gonzalez’s WBC super flyweight title.




LOS ANGELES –Gennady Golovkin wasted little time showing the world that mandatory challenger Dominic Wade was much of a challenge at all. The unified WBA/IBF titlist needed less than two full rounds to score three knockdowns and end matters before a sold out crowd at The Forum.

Wade, despite being noticeably bigger, could not cope with Golovkin’s power and punch accuracy. Golovkin did his most damage with the right hand, scoring all three knockdowns with it (including one that landed on the shoulder) and landing 41% of his total punches. On the second knockdown, Wade briefly considered quitting as referee Jack Reiss asked him multiple times if he wanted to continue.

The big story from last night came in the post-fight interview, where GGG told the future Canelo-Khan winner to bring him “his belt.”

Canelo has been steadfast in saying it’s not a matter of “if” the fight with Golovkin will happen, but “when.” Let’s just hopet the “when” means May 2017 at the latest and not another Mayweather-Pacquiao delay.


GONZALEZ TAKES WIDE BUT TOUGH UD OVER ARROYO: Consensus Pound 4 Pound #1 Roman Gonzalez had a tough 12-round outing with McWilliams Arroyo in the opening TV bout. Arroyo had success with his quick left hook, but found himself routinely outgunned by Gonzalez’s five and six punch combinations. Arroyo was staggered a few times but was elusive enough in his lateral movement to prevent Chocolatito from putting together finishing blows. The wide scores (119-109 twice, 120-108) did little to reflect the fight’s competitive nature.

One alarming thing to take from this fight is Gonzalez’s punches looking flat in the later rounds. He still got by on volume, but his offense lacked the consistency we’re used to. To me, this is a clear sign Gonzalez’s time at flyweight is drawing to a close. The man himself said he’d like one more fight in the division. And that fight should be none other than Juan Francisco Estrada.


We got some exciting fights in 2015, but this was also a noticeable year for the fights that didn’t happen. Here are the bouts promoters and networks couldn’t get done and hopefully will in 2016.



For two elite welterweights, Amir Khan and Kell Brook didn’t do much in 2015. Khan fought once, beating Chris Algieri, and spent the rest of the year playing his usual role of bridesmaid in the Mayweather and Pacquiao sweepstakes. Brook had two outings against overmatched foes in Jo Jo Dan and Frankie Gavin.

What made this so infuriating is the two didn’t need to wait for Pacquiao or Mayweather. The realistic superfight to be made was between them. Over the last few days, reports have circulated the two rivals have started light negotiations to meet in the summer. Maybe they’ve finally smartened up.




Another year has passed without the best fight at light-heavyweight being made. The two had a brief face to face meeting ringside during November’s James DeGale-Lucian Bute card. A few weeks ago, Kovalev’s Main Event’s promoter Kathy Duva disclosed she sent a contract to Stevenson’s promoter Yvon Michel for a June bout with a 50/50 split.

Don’t hold your breath on this one happening.




How this fight fell apart soured me a bit on Lomachenko. Back in June, both fighters were featherweight titlists and under Top Rank, making a unification clash between two undefeated champions a no-brainer. But Walters, who hadn’t fought since October 2014, came in overweight for a his June defense against Miguel Marriaga.

Lomachenko’s team used that to declare they we no longer interested in facing Walters since he lost his title on the scales and wouldn’t entertain a catchweight. Oddly, they are still pursuing a catchweight bout against a smaller fighter in Guillermo Rigondeaux, who also has no belt in Lomachenko’s featherweight division.

Belt or no belt, Lomchenko and Walters are each other’s biggest threat. It’s a shame we’ll probably never see it.




This orchestrated staredown in a press room was the closest we got to Shawn Porter and Keith Thurman squaring off in 2015. Every week, it the proposed dates changed. First they were negotiating for a September clash. Then by the end of the year. Now February. No, scratch that, it’s possibly March. Madness!

Wake me up when the fight is signed.




Can we get a return bout between two of the top Pound 4 Pound fighters in the world? In 2012, the two fought a highly competitive bout which Gonzalez took by unanimous decision. There is a minority of observers who believe Estrada should have won. Even more intriguing is both men have improved tremendously since that fight (especially Estrada).

In October, Gonzalez went on record stating he wanted at least $1 million for the Estrada rematch. Skill-wise, it’s worth that and then some. But let’s keep our fingers crossed that both men are realistic in their actual market value and make this superfight happen in 2016.




GENNADY GOLOVKIN TKO8 DAVID LEMIEUX: First, let’s give Lemieux credit for his effort. That was one of the better Lemieux’s we’ve seen in the ring. Problem from him was that he was so severely outclassed it didn’t matter. The story of the bout was Golovkin’s jab, which was so razor sharp that it disrupted any confidence Lemieux had in his offense. The punch busted up Lemieux’s nose and opened up the right hands and hooks to the body. Golovkin still had to show his chin due to a few hard left hooks from the Lemieux, but the jab and movement strategy made this night much easier.

Speaking of movement, credit is due to Golovkin for his defense. He took a step back anytime Lemieux tried to blitz him, leaving the Canadian back in no man’s land where he was a sitting duck for more hard jabs.

“I feel like the referee called the fight too early,” said Lemieux in his post-fight interview. “I am fine. When he stopped it I wasn’t event on the mat, I can keep going.

I have a lot of respect for Golovkin as a fighter. We prepared well for this fight but I feel like I waited too long to take some shots tonight and that really hurt me.”

I want another chance at Golovkin and I will take advantage of it.”

Here’s referee Steve Willis’ take on why he halted the contest.

I had to do something

David is very competitive fighter and as long as he was able to throw punches he was going to keep on trying but his chances of winning were decreasing as the fight went on.

Against a guy(golovkin) like that he was going to get really hurt and I’m here to protect the fighters health and that’s my top priority

I couldn’t let him continue to receive punishment

I gave him every chance I could and i still hesitated too much. It was over.

: If you were skeptical about Chocolatito being anoited #1 P4P, this fight probably convinced. After feel out first round, Gonzalez went about dissecting Viloria with precision 4-5 punch combinations. His offense was so varied that Viloria couldn’t anticipate what was coming. A perfect example was Viloria getting dropped for the first time in his career via a short counter right. Gonzalez also showed his chin, as Viloria clocked with a few clean left hooks. The key to this fight was Viloria was never given a moment’s rest. He was either punching to keep Roman off him, or trying to protect his body from blistering power shots. By the ninth, Viloria’s resistance had greatly diminished and Gonzalez started to trap him on the ropes more frequently and unload. The ref wisely called the fight with no initial protest from Viloria.

“Roman is a tremendous fighter. I have nothing but respect for him,” said Viloria. “I had prepared for a different Roman and he surprised me with his defense and his speed. I do feel like the fight was stopped prematurely, I feel good and can keep going. If I had an opportunity to take him on again I would. I feel like I learned a lot today and would use that for the next time around.”

The big fight that matters now is a rematch between Gonzalez and Juan Francisco Estrada.

: The first KO of the night came from “King Kong” Luis Ortiz, who treated Vidondo like a pinata from the opening bell. Every time Ortiz’s southpaw straight left landed, Vidondo would be knocked backwards (it didn’t help that he pulled straight back). The first knockdown came in the second courtesy of a beautiful counter right hook. Vidondo walked right into the shot and toppled to the canvas. He survived the round, but was quickly dispatched early in the third from another straight left. Ortiz connected on 77% of his power shots (40/52). With a big puncher like him, that’s a recipe to get KTFO. The win now makes Ortiz the WBA interim heavyweight champion.

: Johnson was putting on an inside clinic through four rounds. He dropped O’Kane twice in the opening round off southpaw right hooks. To his credit, O’Kane recovered and spent the majority of the remaining rounds right in Johnson’s chest ripping shots. Unfortunately for the Irishman, his accuracy was woeful and Johnson was still landing the harder and cleaner shots. The judges rewarded Johnson’s better skill with wide scores of 118-108, 117-109 and 119-107. Johnson is now the #1 for the IBF title middleweight title just won by Gennady Golovkin.

LAMONT ROACH JOSE BUSTOS: This fight had a marked talent gap and Lamont Roach took full advantage. He rocked Bustos with a barrage of hooks in the fifth, but couldn’t notch the stoppage. Roach was able to switch-hit at times to equal effectiveness, driving home the depth of this mismatch. Scores were unanimous for Roach via 59-55 across the board.

“Bustos came to fight,” lauded Roach. “He was not backing down throughout the fight but I did not feel threatened by him. I feel like I dominated the fight and was giving him my all. I wanted to end the fight impressively via knock out but he has a strong jaw. This is my last six-rounder and will move up to eight rounds in my next fight, very excited to go there.”

MAURICE HOOKER SD GHISLAIN MADUMA:  Hooker was controlling Maduma with the left jab and scored a knockdown in the fourth off a straight right. But Maduma stormed back in the fifth by hurting Hooker with the same punch and being close to ending matters. Hooker survived but was more tentative down the stretch. In the end, the knockdown saved him as he won via scores 95-93, 95-94 and 95-93 Maduma.

“I think the fight went a good pace and Maduma was a good fighter,” Hooker reflected. “He came prepared to fight.I knew I had him from the first round when I hit him with my left.  By the fourth round, I grew confident that I was in the lead once I dropped him.  But I grew too confident I think and that is when he caught me by surprise in the sixth round.

I wasn’t as focused as I should have been so I made sure to listen to my corner and keep him at a distance with my jab for the remaining rounds.  I feel that I am ready for a bigger fight and feel confident I can make a statement at 140 pounds. I would love a shot at Broner or any Golden Boy Promotions fighter at 140 pounds, like Antonio Orozco, I can take him.”