‘Chocolatito’ back on top
A virtuoso performance from Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez ripped the WBA world super-flyweight title from Britain’s Khalid Yafai in Frisco, Texas at the weekend. The Nicaraguan three-weight world champion and future ‘hall of famer’ dominated from the opening bell and eventually stopped the brave champion with a stunning right hook 29 secs into the ninth round.
Former ‘pound for pound’ king Gonzalez (49-2-0, 41 KO’s) was back to his best and displayed all his skills and undoubted class. Yafai , making his sixth defence in a three year reign, at times stood toe to toe with Gonzalez rather that adopting his usual cautious jab and move technique. This proved to be his eventual undoing.
Gonzalez was simply punch perfect with his infighting and ability to throw punches from all angles finishing off with heavy head shots. In many ways it was reminiscent of a peak Roberto Duran. The Nicaraguan, clearly in the latter stages of his stellar career, on this evidence still has a lot left and can look towards unification fights in the 115lb (8st 3lb) division.
Should he hold onto this title through several defences ‘Chocolatito’ will further add to the legend that should have already secured him a first ballot place in the Canastota International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Yafai drops to 26-1 (15 KO’s) and will learn a lot from this exposure at the elite level.
Garcia wins Mexican-American shootout
Four-weight world champion Mikey Garcia (40-1-0, 30 KO’s) beat fellow Mexican-heritage fighter Jesse Vargas (29-3-2, 11 KO’s) at welterweight (147lbs) on the Frisco card. The California-based Garcia used his superior technical skills to control the majority of the fight dropping his opponent in round five and eventually winning on a unanimous decision 114-113, 116-111, 116-111. The fight was always competitive but Garcia clearly won the key moments.
This was Garcia’s comeback fight after suffering his sole defeat in March 2019 to Errol Spence Jnr. In the post fight interview he pledged to remain at welterweight and looks forward to a possible fight with legend Manny Pacquiao.
Also on the Frisco card WBC world flyweight champion Julio Cesar Martinez (16-1, 12 KO’s) successfully defended his title after a brave showing from Wales’ Jay Harris (17-1, 9 KO’s). The Mexican won on a unanimous decision in an action packed fight.
Wilder v Fury III
As expected, former WBC world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder has invoked the rematch clause following his loss to Tyson Fury in Las Vegas last weekend. This means that a ‘trilogy’ fight is likely to take place in July and delay the potential unification fight against three belt champion Anthony Joshua.
Joshua v Pulev
Earlier today (Monday 2nd) Anthony Joshua tweeted his mandatory IBF world title defence against Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev will take place on Saturday 20th June at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. This despite Pulev, in the last few days through his promoter Top Rank, expressing an unwillingness to challenge in the UK due to expected unfair treatment, and the fight looking to go stateside. This is an insult to the British Boxing Board of Control and fight fans to say the least. It will be interesting to see the resulting fall out and reception Pulev will get in the build up to the now confirmed fight date.
Matchroom Boxing have subsequently confirmed the event will be promoted by them in association with Top Rank and Epic Sports and Entertainment. Watch this space for subsequent updates.