Champions Collide in Title Unification Rematch
Juan Francisco Estrada will look to avenge one of three career losses on Saturday when he takes on the legendary Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez in a super flyweight unification matchup at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.
Gonzalez won the first fight back in 2012 by unanimous decision, winning all three cards by at least four points in an entertaining and competitive fight.
Estrada Favored in Long-Awaited Rematch
At the time, the two fighters were competing for a light flyweight title. Now, both compete in the super flyweight division. Gonzalez holds the WBA title, while Estrada is the WBC champion.
Estrada (41-3, 28 KOs) has made a point of making up for his losses. He’s won two rematches against the other two opponents to beat him during his career, and plans on continuing that trend this weekend.
“I’ve waiting a long time,” Estrada said at the pre-fight press conference. “I have three losses and I’ve already avenged two of them. We trained really hard and I’m ready for this fight.”
Oddsmakers give Estrada a solid chance of accomplishing that feat. FanDuel Sportsbook lists him as the -174 favorite over Gonzalez (+136) despite Chocolatito’s victory nine years ago.
Gonzalez (50-2, 41 KOs) doesn’t expect an easy time in the rematch, either. Trainer Marcos Caballero says his fighter has prepared for an even tougher fight the second time around.
“We started the camp strong and motivated, because we are going to war with Estrada, who’s a demanding fighter,” Caballero told Viva Nicaragua. “We know the quality of the opponent, but we trust that in the ring, the one who arrives better prepared and with the best strategy, will win. That will be us.”
Unification Bout Tops Deep Card of Title Fights
Both fighters stuck to that consistent message: that they’re expecting a tough fight that will entertain fans from start to finish.
“This is going to be better than the first one,” Estrada said. “There is a lot of expectation, it’s been nine years in the making. People would always ask when we would fight again. It’s going to be exciting and I’m concentrating on giving a good fight this Saturday.”
When the two first fought, most considered Gonzalez one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. He lost some of that cache after two consecutive losses to Wisaksil Wangek in 2017 – the only two defeats of his career – but remains a dangerous opponent and a worthy champion.
|Estrada vs. Gonzalez Odds (via FanDuel Sportsbook)|
|Juan Francisco Estrada: -174||Roman Gonzalez: +136|
|Jessica McCaskill: +114||Cecilia Braekhus: -146|
|Hiroto Kyoguchi: -1000||Axel Aragon Vega: +580|
That could make Gonzalez a good value as the underdog. BoxRec rates Gonzalez as the No. 2 fighter in the division, with Estrada at No. 3. Both trail behind Japanese fighter Kazuto Ioka (26-2, 15 KOs), who holds the WBO title.
The Estrada vs. Gonzalez fights sits atop a card of highly competitive matchups. In the co-main event, women’s unified welterweight champion Jessica McCaskill (+114) defends her titles against former champion Cecilia Braekhus (-146), who is looking to avenge a controversial loss by decision, the first of her career. In addition, Hiroto Kyoguchi (-1000) will defend his WBA junior flyweight title against Axel Aragon Vega (+580).