The Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona, was the site for the trilogy between Juan Francisco Estrada and Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, a bout which lived up to expectations. After constant action, and seeing Gonzalez coming on stranger in the second half, Estrada snagged a majority decision, and the WBC Super Flyweight and Ring Magazine titles.
A 114-114 draw card was overruled by 116-112 and 115-113 in favor of Estrada (44-3,28 KOs) in a very close contest. For the record, Estrada has won two out of three against Gonzalez (51-4, 41 KOs). Anyone for number four? Both fighters said they were open to that after the victor was announced.
The third fight between these two rivals started at a much slower pace than the last contest, with a feel-out round that saw each look to gauge each other's familiarity with each other. Gonzalez focused on pressing Estrada while Estrada was looking to land shots in close to try to break Gonzalez down. This pace led to familiar action that picked up as the third round was closing, which everyone expected from these future Hall-of-Famers.
The fourth round saw both look to establish the pace as the crowd came awake following a lackluster co-main event. To close out the fourth round, Estrada was seen off balance, and Gonzalez looked to pounce, but the round ended. The fifth round saw Estrada dig more into the body of Gonzalez to slow him down, but these two were still at full speed as the fifth closed. High-level action in this fight, but Gonzalez looked to be less gun-shy than before in some prior contests.
Halfway through the war, Estrada looked in total control and more confident in his pace toward Gonzalez than the other way around. That was about to change in the second half.
As the fight grew on, Gonzalez looked to be the slower of the two but was still trying to press the action and corner Estrada. Estrada was starting to get fatigued and was covering up with moments of action but none that looked to win rounds. A flurry in the ninth round by Gonzalez was answered quickly by Estrada with a counter of his own which kept the crowd in tune with the very close contest. When moving backward, Estrada could get shots off faster than Gonzalez started to throw them, which was taking its toll as the ninth came around.
What was thought to be a knockdown in the tenth by Estrada was ruled a slip as there was a wet spot on the canvas. Gonzalez was still looking to rally back as he was starting to take over the fight. Gonzalez was still pushing Estrada towards the ropes but was having more success than early on as fatigue was setting in for Estrada.
It was a tremendous fight that lived up to the hype heading into the championship rounds as both decided to close the final round in a phone booth to the excitement of those in the arena.
Despite the trail off and tiredness at the end of the fight, Estrada held serve against Gonzalez.
Check out how our NFY staff predicted this one would go.
Martinez Fails to Impress In Co-Main Against Caroma
The co-main event was a snoozer, as WBC Flyweight champion Julio Cesar Martinez took on Samuel Carmona coasting to a majority decision victory to retain. Final scorecards were all in favor of Martinez, but there was little of anything in this contest. A 114-114 scorecard was overruled with cards of 117-111 and 116-112 in favor of Martinez (19-2, 14 KOs). It's a litmus test to see which judges stayed awake but picking a winner for this one was a slog to watch. It takes two to tango, and Carmona (8-1, 4 KOs) bought his Peloton that wasn't a two-seater.
The first few rounds consisted of Martinez trying to look for an opening and counter. Carmona was looking to dance and move early to avoid that from happening. It made for a tactical matchup, as there wasn't much going on besides foot movement. The third round is when the action started to pick up, as Martinez was able to land a few combinations coming in. It wasn't for lack of effort, just good defense from Carmona, seeing what Martinez was planning to do beforehand. Also, suffering a broken hand from Carmona early on completely altered this fight plan. The crowd was behind Martinez all the way here, with chants of “Mexico” reappearing during the contest in place of the in-ring action. As the fight crossed the halfway stage, it was apparent that Carmona was waiting for his opening to attack but couldn't pull the trigger. It was often choosing to frustrate Martinez, who was only coming in one way to attack.
The action remained the same tactical pace as the championship rounds kicked in. Martinez started to throw more wildly, but nothing seemed to land. While Carmona wasn't landing anything of note through the entire fight, the last round had a few moments at least to avoid the crowd disproval that was happening all contest long.
The main card opened, however, with a Flyweight phonebooth fight between Joselito Velasquez and former titlist Cristofer Rosales. After ten hard rounds, the judges sided with Rosales by unanimous decision for the victory. All three judges had it 97-93 in a ten-round firefight that Rosales had (35-6, 21 KOs )to dig deep to upset the undefeated Velazquez. (15-1-1, 10 KOs).
Rosales was forcing Velaquez to find another way to attack as he was peppering him on the outside of his looping shots early on. While chants of “Mexico” helped pick up the atmosphere left from a paint-by-numbers preliminary card. Real good back-and-forth action between these two flyweights picked up in the second round of this fight. Rosales was set to push the action and be the aggressor while continuously getting clipped with combinations set up by body shots. After the fifth round, Rosales mentioned something to his corner about shaking his right hand, which was visible to the media sitting ringside.
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) December 4, 2022
Rosales may have injured something to it as the sixth round came and went; his use of that hand was apparent as every attack now seemed to lead with his left hand. Despite this, these two made it a phone booth fight, and Rosales still threw the right. As the contest wore on, Velaquez was starting to slip and make Rosales's punches miss while still being able to counter.
What followed next on the main card was supper middleweight prospect Diego Pacheco (17-0, 14 KOs) taking on late replacement Adrian Luna (24-9-2, 16 KOs). Luna was sent down quicker than instant oatmeal and was dispatched in two rounds by Pacheco. Anyone who saw or attended the weigh-in on Friday could've told you that Luna noticeably looked like a fighter who took this fight on short notice, and after two rounds at the 2:08 mark, this was mercifully over.
💣💣 @realdpacheco is a bad man!
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) December 4, 2022