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Who Does Sergio Mora Think Has the Edge on Paper For the Chocolatito-Estrada Sequel?

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OK, Sergio Mora, you will help call the Saturday night fights screening on DAZN, including the hugely anticipated super fly clash between Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez and Juan Francisco Estrada, at American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas.

Point blank, how pumped is Mora for that sequel scrap between the magnificent man from Nicaragua, and the superlative Mexican, 8 years after each tried to gain command of the other, I asked. Might this be, like, one of your very most anticipated fights of the year, coming in?

“That shouldn’t just be for me, that should be for any boxing fan,” the 40-year-old California resident told me. “It should get fans salivating, it’s the best of the best, one all-time great versus a great champion. The first fight was intensely close, and I expect the second to be equal or more.”

Shoot, makes sense; the two even weighed the same, 114.8, at the check-in Friday.

Estrada fights Chocolatito in 2012, will the Mexican make a savvy adjustment for this match?

Their first one was an all-action clash. Will this one surpass the 2012 fight?

Mora started boxing pretty late, he was 15 or maybe just turned 16 when he entered that place that would be a home for him as an amateur and then decorated professional.

“I’m comparing it to the Michael Carbajal versus Chiquitio Gonzalez wars….we’d be lucky if we got another trilogy.”

Younger fans might not know, Carbajal, out of Phoenix, rose the ranks and excelled at 108 pounds. Did you know this was the first time junior flyweights headlined a PPV card? On March 13, 1993 Carbajal, having defended seven times, went down down in round two from a straight left at the Hilton in Vegas. In round five, Carbajal (27-0 coming in) went to the mat again. With 14 seconds remaining in the seventh round and down on all three scorecards, Carbajal started scoring with clean rights, and then knocked Gonzalez (35-1 to start the night) out with a left hook to the chin in this title consolidation match. Ring Magazine called it fight of the Year.

Naturally, they did it again.

On Feb. 19, 1994, the sequel unfolded at the Forum in LA. It went the distance, and the judges decided Gonzalez stood out just a bit more.

So, they decided to try and break the tie–number three took place on Nov. 12, 1994 in Mexico.

As per usual, Gonzalez got sliced open and in this one, so did Carbajal. Bloodied but refusing to bow, they patiently waited to hear the judges’ tallies again. Gonzalez went up, 2-1, enjoying a majority decision victory in the third and last rumble.

You can ponder in your head who might play the Carbajal and who the Chiquito roles, yes?

I wanted to see if Mora wouldn’t confess who he thought would win the fight in Dallas.

Sergio Mora is an analyst for DAZN.

“We saw vintage Chocolatito (in his last fight on Oct. 23, 2020), and in the fight before against Kal Yafai it was vintage, too,” Mora said. “Did that surprise me? It absolutely surprised me, but only the all time greats, like Roberto Duran can come back from devastating KOs, like Duran did after the Hearns fight, and Chocolatito did after losing to Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. They still do great things at a high level.

Yes, that’s right, Mora is placing Chocolatito (50-2), who turns 34 in July, next to Duran, and darn right, that’s massive praise.

We spoke about how we hope that word spreads wide and far, that these “little guys” are quite likely to provide XXL entertainment. “I hope people understand how good it is likely to be,” he said. Mora didn’t buy that American fight fans have a “bias” against low weight fighters, it’s just that they like larger framed fighters in many places around the world.

“It’s not just an American thing, it’s like a guy, he wants to be over 5-8 or (he will see more rejection),” offered Mora.

(ALERT: See how Abe Gonzalez thinks Chocolatito versus Estrada could play out.)

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SportsBettingDime.com offered up these two-way odds: González (+145) vs. Estrada (-145)

SportsBettingDime.com’s two-way odds give Estrada a 59.2% chance to win and González 40.8%.

Analysis: The betting market has set the odds pretty accurately for this bout.  The scorecards from their first fight in 2012 look lopsided in Chocolatito’s favor, but Estrada was not dominated.  Almost a decade later, the now-30-year-old Estrada won’t be at such a disadvantage, power-wise, and will be quicker than the 33-year-old González.  This is destined to be a tight bout, but the location (Texas) also weighs in favor of the Mexican Estrada over the Nicaraguan González.

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So, would Mora hazard a guess, at who will win?

“Who’s likely to win? It’s probably gonna be great..no, you can take out the probably! Chiquitito and Carbajal were in the fight of the year, and in the second one, Chiquito came out boxing more, showing different dimensions. And he won the next two, great fights. Do I see something similar playing out here? It would probably be on the Estrada side. But he will have to mix boxing and fighting, and there’s no way that doesn’t produce fire. No way it doesn’t, the styles mesh up too perfectly. Ok, yes, I was worried maybe before the Estrada fight against Carlos Cuadras in October, thinking maybe Chocolatito had more mileage on him. But that last fight possibly aged Estrada, he has a lot of miles on him, that takes a toll. The fights against Yafai and Gonzalez for Chocolatito weren’t as physical. Woodsy, the smaller guys have heavyweight hearts, they throw a lot more punches, they’re a lot more active and exciting.”

OK, but I’m annoying; how does Mora see this one, a 50-50 fight on paper…or does he think the dude he lumped in with Duran has a slight edge?

March 12, 2021; Dallas, TX; Juan Francisco Estrada and Roman Gonzalez pose after the weigh-in for their March 13, 2021 fight at the American Airlines arena in Dallas, TX. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom.

“Yeah, maybe Chocolatito has a slight edge, less mileage. Man, an all-time great like Chocolatito always has more chapters in the book, Duran would lose, then he’d get up for big fights. Those Central American greats, the Panamanian, the Nicaraguan…Estrada is an excellent boxer, it’s good when he stays off the ropes, uses the perimeter to give him the best chance to win,” Mora said of the 41-3 boxer who turns 31 in August. “When someone is pushed to the ropes, that favors Chocolatito. I think in the middle rounds, they fall back into that first fight. It’s a close fight, man, but I favor on paper the legend. People watching can expect an ebb and flow, and one to remember! 51-49 for Chocolatito, yeah, that’s about what I’m feeling. Estrada had the big KO of Cuadras, you think he’d be favored because he’s maybe fresher, but not when it comes to greatness. You don’t doubt greatness!”

Editor/publisher Michael Woods became addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the fearsome Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of TheSweetScience.com from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and numerous other organizations.

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