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Who Won the Weekend? Chocolatito and Estrada-Cuadras Get Looks

Michael Woods

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The lighter weight fighters don’t get the same love and attention the jumbos get, but they damn well do give us all better bag for the buck, no?

I asked the NYF squad who they thought won the weekend, and that’s the takeaway I received.

What say you all, gents?

Juan Francisco “Gallo” Estrada vs Carlos Cuadras won the weekend! What a fight,” said Abe Gonzalez, the Cali based editor for NYF. “It’s no secret that this is why Tom Loeffler was so invested in the “Super Fly” series.These two fighters gave a “Fight of the Year” type of performance and has setup what will be one of the most anticipated unification fights in 2021: Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez vs. Juan Francisco Estrada! This has SoCal written all over it and I’m here for it!”

“The fights over this weekend lacked the prestige and excitement of Lopez-Lomachenko, but there were two solid prospects who got into the ring on Saturday night and one clearly separated himself from the other,” said ‘The Cap’n, David Phillips. “In a super lightweight bout, Subriel Matias bounced back from a disappointing loss in February to the unheralded Petros Ananyan, by scoring a 7th round TKO over the undefeated Malik Hawkins. Matias dominated most of the fight, and Hawkins was down on all three cards at the time and getting beaten soundly by Matias. I’m not sure if either guy is at the elite level, but at least in the case of Matias, one guy picked up some solid momentum for his career.”

“Fans of boxing’s best super flyweight fighters Juan Francisco Estrada and Roman Gonzalez won the weekend,” said boxing/MMA writer Kelsey McCarson. “The two stalwart stars duked it out back in 2012 with Gonazlez winning by decision. They were supposed to meet again in a rematch a few years later but that fight was derailed by Srisaket Sor Rungvisai bursting onto the scene to defeat both. Now, “El Gallo” and “Chocolatito” are finally in a position to settle the score after winning their fights over the weekend in Mexico, and the pending showdown between them should be a fantastic fight with huge stakes on the line.”

Juan Francisco Estrada as far as I am concerned,” said NY-based journo Jack Hirsch. “He met a fired up opponent in Carlos Cuadras who was hell bent on revenge having lost their first meeting. In a terrific fight, Estrada Outlasted Cuadras and proved himself to be an elite titleholder. Now it’s on to Roman Gonzalez in an eagerly anticipated matchup.

“Two winners for me this weekend which are so close that I can’t split between the two, so I’ll nominate both,” said Hamza Ahmed of NYF. “Juan Francisco Estrada – what an artist, what a fighter and a what a fight against Cuadras last Friday. Admittedly, I picked Estrada to take out Cuadras but not in the kind of fight which unfolded. I picked Estrada on the basis the man is that damn good and Cuadras has been worn out for a long time. Instead what unfolded between these two warriors was another chapter in the fabled history of Mexican boxing wars and definitely one of the best fights of the year. Estrada has closed the Cuadras chapter and now awaits one of the best fights that can be made in boxing and one that’s been long overdue – V Roman Gonzalez….again.

Custio Clayton – talk about putting your name out there. Clayton was a late replacement against former world champion Sergey Lipinets and the Canadian impressed in a majority draw verdict. Many expected Lipinets to steamroll him but the Canadian showed exactly why he belongs in a performance that, despite not winning, opened the eyes of a lot of viewers and perhaps as importantly, he’s now established himself as a capable name in an already molten hot welterweight division. The more, the merrier and I’m interested to see now who he’s matched with.”

“There were several noteworthy performances last week, but Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez gets this weekend’s honors,” said fightwriter Jeremy Herriges. “The way the 33-year-old has managed to create a second act after his back-to-back losses against Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in 2017 is remarkable. He was challenged by a game Israel Gonzalez who had youth on his side, but Chocolatito’s work rate proved to be too much and showed why he’s a generational talent. Juan Francisco Estrada overcame early peril to score a knockout, but Chocolatito controlled his fight and fought with the same spirit and vigor he showed earlier in his career. Chocolatito’s action-packed and energetic performance put him above all others this weekend.”

“Without a doubt Khabib Nurmagomedov – ends his storied career at 29-0 going out on top and quite possibly the GOAT in the entire sport,” said Josh Friedman of SiriusXM.

“Despite FOTY contenders in Lipinets vs Clayton and Estrada vs Cuadras, it was Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez who won the weekend,” said analyst George Jolly. “Cementing his status as a boxing god amongst mortals, Chocolatito decisively beat the younger, more lithe, and longer Israel Gonzalez over the course of 12 rounds. Fighting at a blistering pace, a keyed up Chocolatito threw from left and right, upstairs and downstairs, at times looking as if he were trying to cut his opponent in half. The dichotomous Roman Gonzalez, beloved by boxing diehards, all but secured a rematch with Estrada. Chocolatito won his fight, won the weekend, and reminded us, he is a living legend.”

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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