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Juan Francisco Estrada-Roman Gonzalez II: Afterthoughts

So little in life is dependable.

In boxing, even essentially the most thrilling fights on paper can go improper. Kinds may not conflict. Head clashes can ship issues dwelling earlier than the fourth spherical leaving us with no consequence.

Up to now, the saga of the Hardcore 4 bucks the development. It’s dependable. It doesn’t disappoint. Generally it’s simply fairly good. Extra typically, it’s been nice. On a number of events, it’s been timeless. 

Ten contests between Roman Gonzalez, Juan Francisco Estrada, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, and Carlos Cuadras have solid a legacy that’s restricted solely by their dimension in how popularly will probably be recalled. Saturday evening in Texas, Estrada and Gonzalez did it once more for twelve violently lovely rounds of talent, leather-based, and character.

Estrada acquired his revenge for the primary combat however his post-fight feedback seemed like a person who isn’t positive he earned the victory. Based mostly on social media response, many viewers appear to agree. The rating right here was 115-113 Gonzalez, giving Estrada the primary, third, sixth, seventh and eleventh. There have been swing rounds that might have gone the opposite manner. The road between shut combat and controversy finally comes down to 1 different factor that feels all too dependable in boxing.

That one scorecard.

Too typically, boxing’s greatest fights are gashed by a pair of defensibly shut outcomes and a large card practically not possible to justify. On Saturday, the cardboard got here from Carlos Sucre who one way or the other noticed 9 of the twelve rounds for Estrada and the entire final 5. That would come with a ultimate spherical virtually universally hailed as Gonzalez’s, a body the place Estrada was outlanded, outthrown, and appeared briefly buckled. 

However don’t let the controversy in regards to the consequence obscure the majesty of what occurred within the ring. Two getting older gunslingers put forth a 2,000 punch conflict eight years and alter within the making, delivering not less than two spherical of the 12 months nominees (the sixth and twelfth) and the doubtless entrance runner for Battle of the 12 months. We noticed two nice fighters do nice issues collectively.

We noticed chapter ten.

And the story isn’t over. 

Does anybody who has adopted this golden period at Jr. bantamweight really need it to finish? 

Let’s get into it. 

The Future for Estrada: Estrada made his third protection of the lineal Jr. bantamweight crown and added the WBA belt to his conflict chest, making him a unified titlist in two weight courses after beforehand holding two belts at flyweight. The Mexican warrior added another feathers to his cap as effectively. 

Estrada is the agency chief of the 4 manner rivalry, standing now at 4-2 and Estrada is the one man with official wins over the entire different three. Estrada may now say he has avenged each loss on his file. His different two losses, by determination to then-future titlist Juan Carlos Sanchez and then-Jr. bantamweight titlist Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, have been turned again by knockout and determination respectively. Estrada needs to be thought of a future Corridor of Famer with out qualification at this level.

What comes subsequent? The warmth of the second could have many able to see a 3rd with Gonzalez. The larger purse may be there too. To make it occur, Estrada might need to relinquish the WBC belt. The necessary looms with Sor Rungvisai and their rivalry stands simply as tied as Estrada-Gonzalez. Estrada’s two fights with Gonzalez have been higher viewing than the 2 with Sor Rungvisai, however that’s by minor levels as each sequence are unbelievable. Followers received’t lose both manner. Cuadras function within the four-way is probably going concluded however Estrada, Gonzalez, and Sor Rungvisai will be blended and matched a couple of extra occasions with out actually dealing with anybody else and nobody would complain.

Buckle up. Chapter eleven is coming.     

The Future for Gonzalez: Gonzalez was already thought of one of many nice sub-bantamweight fighters of all time earlier than his second act. His win over Khalid Yafai and efficiency on Saturday solely additional his case. Greatness isn’t solely in regards to the win column. To do what Gonzalez did, at his dimension, over 13 years after he received his first title and after a devastating knockout loss, is uncommon.

Chocolatito is particular. 

If he isn’t Nicaragua’s best fighter of all time, it’s Alexis Arguello. It’s a debate both manner.

Fifty-three fights into his profession, Gonzalez solely has one indeniable defeat. That can change as he continues and the way lengthy he has is anybody’s guess. If Gonzalez can preserve the situation he was in Saturday, which means the between camps self-discipline it takes to take action, he can prolong his run. If Estrada goes to the Sor Rungvisai rubber match, Gonzalez has two opponents particularly who can be fascinating. 

Gonzalez is the second man in historical past to win belts in every of the 4 lowest weight courses. The third and fourth, Donnie Nietes and Kazuto Ioka, arguably acquired there partially as a result of their groups went round Gonzalez. In Ioka’s case, using WBA sub-belts allowed the skipping of Gonzalez and Estrada. It could really feel incomplete, with Nietes returning to the ring subsequent month, to not see Gonzalez towards each of them even when it isn’t what it might need been at a earlier date. Ioka, who has a WBO belt, would create a gap to win a belt and make a 3rd combat with the winner of an Estrada-Sor Rungvisai III one other unification alternative. 

Ioka has seemed glorious at 115 lbs and is coming off certainly one of his greatest wins over Kosei Tanaka. It could be a decide ‘em combat. We are able to’t make sure what Nietes has left after two years off till we get an thought subsequent month. Both bout can be welcome. So would skipping to a 3rd with Estrada. Gonzalez fell wanting an opportunity at a second lineal crown. Time will inform if he will get one other. 

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Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, a member of the Worldwide Boxing Analysis Group, and a member of the Boxing Writers Affiliation of America.  He will be reached at