Boxing is an unforgiving sport, especially when you get within your thirties as the reflexes start to slow down a bit and your body starts to react differently to the training and the blows suffered before and during a fight effect you more each time.
This past Saturday night, Eddie Hearn and DAZN had WBA Super Flyweight Champion Khalid Yafai (26-1) go up against the great Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (49-2) in hopes of getting Yafai (below) a huge name under his belt.
The best well laid plans tend to get disrupted at times and that’s what happened on Saturday when Gonzalez showed flashes of vintage “Chocolatito” which led to a ninth round one punch knockout and capturing his fifth world title.
That performance had everyone in the boxing world buzzing as the Super Flyweight division got the type of boost that only a fighter like Gonzalez could provide. Almost immediately, Eddie Hearn and the DAZN broadcasters spoke of the possibility of Gonzalez facing Juan Francisco “Gallo” Estrada (40-3) in a rematch which would also serve as a unification bout.
They were some rumors the next morning that Gonzalez was looking at returning in July but was talking about unifying against the WBO Super Flyweight Champion Kazuto Ioka (25-2) instead of Estrada for his next fight. The only issue is that the WBO sent a letter to Ioka (see below) giving him and his team 20 days to negotiate a fight with mandatory challenger Kosei Tanaka as the challenger vacated his Flyweight title for a chance at the WBO title but in the SuperFly division.
The Ioka versus Tanaka fight is an outstanding title fight if it can be made but rumors are that the talks are stalling and it may be due to one side possibly not wanting the fight. I think this fight does get made but as good as it will be, Tanaka is going to be too strong for Ioka and will more than likely be victorious.
What about “Gallo” Estrada? Looks like he may end up having to give Sir Rungvisai (47-5) a rematch but first, Rungvisai will have a “stay busy” fight in April against Amnat Ruenroeng (20-3). The rematch is bound to take place this summer somewhere in southern California unless he receives an envelope full of step aside cash in order for the Gonzalez versus Estrada rematch to take place. I’ll be monitoring this one closely in the coming months.
The only other champion in that division is IBF Super Flyweight Champion Jerwin Ancajas (32-1-2) and he looks as though he will be tied up with mandatory challenger Israel Gonzalez (25-3), who he knocked out back in February 2018. The only good thing to look at with his mandatory is that it will take place in April and can still set him up for a July showdown with Gonzalez if they can agree to it.
The Super Flyweight division is red hot right now and once again, Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez is right at the center of it. Who will Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez face next? All signs point to “Gallo” Estrada but don’t be surprised if those Top Rank guys come in and try to pair him up with Ancajas.
Talk about a possible busy month, we have already seen that the third installment of Fury versus Wilder is booked for the 18th but what else should we expecting? The 18th was the working date for GBP and Ryan Garcia up until a week or so ago when Eric Gomez came out and said the date was not booked as of yet. Guess the answer to that was they were probably made aware of the heavyweight title fight and didn’t want to compete against that. Now you have to see where you can fit Ryan and also a possible fight between Pacquiao and Mikey, which would also be slated for July. Does Ryan head to Saudi Arabia to Co-Main that card as part of the DAZN expansion for more eye balls or do you put him in San Diego during the huge annual Comic Con event? July doesn’t leave a whole lot of room especially when “Chocolatito” has his eyes set on that month as well. With only three Saturdays to work with (unless you put a show on the 4th of July), you have to believe someone is getting bumped to August.
These next couple of weeks will clear some things up and it will be interesting to see who actually makes the July cut.
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