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Juan Francisco Estrada survives, beats Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez in instant classic

Expectations were sky-high for the rematch between Juan Francisco Estrada and Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez and the two future Hall of Famers delivered an instant classic.

Deep in the heart of Texas, Estrada and Gonzalez combined for more than 2,500 punches thrown in a 12-round war that saw Estrada narrowly pick up a split decision win. Estrada walks away with the WBA, WBC and Ring Magazine super flyweight titles with judges David Sutherland and Carlos Sucre scoring the bout 115–113 and 117–111, respectively for Estrada. Judge Jesse Reyes was the only one to score the fight in favor of Gonzalez 115–113.

The two boxers landed a total of 705 punches out of 2,529 throughout the 36 minutes of non-stop action. Estrada’s body work in the beginning of the fight gave him an early edge. Gonzalez’s workrate allowed him to pressure Estrada more often in the middle rounds, with the Nicaraguan fighter landing various big right hands on Estrada.

Gonzalez caught fire in the second half of the fight, landing short combination after short combination while working on the inside. Estrada was able to still land big shots as well, included aright hand in the seventh round. A left hand by Gonzalez momentarily staggered Estrada in the ninth round, but Estrada was able to keep fighting without much trouble.

The two kept trading blows that almost made the fight too close to call. The crowd, as well as many in the boxing community, were stunned to hear the 117–111 scorecard in favor of Estrada. By the time the 12th round began, many, including Estrada’s own trainer, believed that he might need a knockout to pull off the win. Still, Estrada was the one who came out on top, avenging an action-packed first encounter back in 2012, which Gonzalez won. In that first encounter, Estrada drained himself to make 108 lbs. for that fight and gave Gonzalez one of the toughest fights of his career, catapulting Estrada to stardom despite the loss.

Now, at 115 lbs., Estrada is the more comfortable fighter, feeling more at home at super flyweight than he ever did at light flyweight. With the win over Gonzalez, Estrada has now avenged all three of his losses in the pro ranks.

Once the scorecards were announced, Estrada immediately said Gonzalez should get a trilogy fight against him. While that may be a fight most fans and pundits would want to see, another former champion is waiting in the wings for Estrada: Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. The Thai boxer, who was victorious the night before against Kwanthai Sithmorseng, is the mandatory challenger for Estrada’s WBC title. The WBC previously stated that the Estrada vs. Gonzalez 2 winner had to fight Sor Rungvisai later this year.

Estrada and Sor Rungvisai also share history in the ring. Both fighters own a win over each other within their two highly-acclaimed WBC title fights in 2018 and 2019 and now they are on a collision for another highly-anticipated rematch.

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