WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman explains to Boxing Social the rationale behind Juan Francisco Estrada’s elevation to WBC super-flyweight ‘franchise’ champion, and why he’s “extraordinarily excited” concerning the sanctioning physique’s forthcoming 115lbs match…
With reminiscences of the pulsating rematch between Juan Francisco Estrada and Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez nonetheless contemporary in boxing followers’ minds, the prospect of three additional showdowns involving the aforementioned duo and their perennial rivals Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and Carlos Cuadras is nearly too good to ponder.
And but that’s the situation that’s set to unfold after the WBC’s latest choice to raise Estrada to the place of ‘franchise champion’, enabling the Mexican to dealer a 3rd combat with Chocolatito, whereas Srisaket will face Cuadras – a rematch itself of a controversial and memorable 2014 showdown – for the primary WBC title. The winners of those two engaging bouts will then face one another to find out super-flyweight supremacy.
“We’re extraordinarily excited,” WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman instructed Boxing Social by phone from Mexico Metropolis on Friday. “We on the WBC created the idea, the flexibility to create particular champions by way of the franchise champion thought. This idea permits us to grant fighters particular rights and advantages which recognise their significance.”
The idea of franchise champions has had its critics, however Sulaiman persuasively argues that it’s a designation that if utilized strategically permits huge fights to be made – or within the case of the super-flyweight division, three huge fights.
“Canelo was the primary one to be awarded that designation after which [Vasiliy] Lomachenko,” Sulaiman defined. “That call made it potential to create Lomachenko versus Teofimo Lopez for all of the titles within the light-weight division.
“When Chocolatito and Estrada signed to combat a rematch after eight years it was a match-up the boxing world had been ready to see. It was a sensational combat the primary one. We waited eight years to see the second and to ensure that that combat to occur Sor Rungvisai needed to step apart with the situation that he would combat the winner.
“However in March when the bell rang to finish this unbelievable rematch, all of us needed to see spherical 13 between Estrada and Chocolatito. The entire world needed to see the continuation of what had occurred that evening. So the WBC instantly started a course of – Estrada contacted the WBC and requested to be awarded the designation as franchise champion.
“We agreed a particular ruling designating him as franchise champion, enabling him to combat a 3rd combat with Chocolatito whereas additionally ordering Sor Rungvisai to face Cuadras. The winners of these fights will meet one another to find out who would be the one champion within the division.
“This match provides us a minimum of three nice fights. Sor Rungvisai-Cuadras and Estrada-Chocolatito plus the 2 winners in opposition to one another. It additionally opens up the opportunity of additional nice matches within the super-flyweight division. We’re completely satisfied and searching ahead to those nice matches.”
Sulaiman emphasised that this particular quartet of fighters are relishing the upcoming match. “They’re ecstatic. They can not await the fights to be introduced and to happen.”
Remarkably, Estrada, Gonzalez, Cuadras and Srisaket have already confronted one another a complete of 10 instances, starting with a WBA light-flyweight showdown between ‘Chocolatito’ and ‘El Gallo’ in 2012.
The next 9 fights involving the quartet have all been fought at super-flyweight, with the WBC 115lbs title on the road on eight of those events.
Such is the depth of the fights which have unfolded between these 4 boxers over the course of almost a decade, that they’ve been labelled in some quarters the ‘new 4 Kings’ – a nod to the spectacular nine-fight sequence involving Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, Thomas Hearns and Marvin Hagler within the Eighties.
The brand new 4 Kings:
Gonzalez W12 Estrada, November 17, 2012, WBA light-flyweight title.
Cuadras WTD8 Srisaket, Might 31, 2014, WBC super-flyweight title.
Gonzalez W12 Cuadras, September 10, 2016, WBC super-flyweight title.
Srisaket W12 Gonzalez, March 18, 2017, WBC super-flyweight title.
Estrada W12 Cuadras, September 9, 2017.
Srisaket WKO4 Gonzalez, September 9, 2017, WBC super-flyweight title.
Srisaket W12 Estrada, February 24, 2018, WBC super-flyweight title.
Estrada W12 Srisaket, April 25, 2019, WBC super-flyweight title.
Estrada WTKO11 Cuadras, October 23, 2020, WBC super-flyweight title.
Estrada W12 Gonzalez, March 13, 2021, WBC/WBA super-flyweight titles.