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Gonzalez vs Estrada II: Will This Be 2021’s Struggle Of The Yr?

This Saturday a Texas shootout goes down between elite gunslingers, one no critical combat fan can afford to overlook. A bit of greater than eight years since their first hotly contested showdown, a battle which boasted a veritable storm of scorching lead and high-caliber fireworks, Juan Francisco “Gallito” Estrada and Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez will lastly meet once more to settle some unfinished enterprise. And regardless of each being decidedly on the flawed aspect of their primes, nothing lower than a scorching and heavy gun battle is anticipated from the Mexican and Nicaraguan sharp-shooters. Gonzalez vs Estrada II is lastly occurring. After eight lengthy years, we will scarcely consider it. However one thing tells us it’s gonna be well worth the wait.

For sure, circumstances are drastically totally different at this time than when these two locks for the Corridor of Fame first met again in November of 2012. At the moment, “Chocolatito,” then a sprightly 25-years-of-age and already with 9 title combat victories below his belt, was extensively considered a possible candidate for the highest spot within the pound-for-pound rankings. In the meantime, a 23-year-old “Gallito” was an unknown challenger, with a embellished newbie profession, taking his first crack at a world title.

However what ensued as soon as the opening bell rang was one of many best donnybrooks of the yr. Gonzalez, on the edge of his prizefighting peak, and about to go on a run that might see him carry out on among the brightest levels the combat recreation has to supply, employed his trademark high-pressure model to stalk and chop down Estrada. The Mexican, recognizing the magnitude of the problem earlier than him, dug down deep to find he possessed each the required weaponry and the grit to face and commerce with one of many sport’s premier offensive forces.

Chocolatito and Gallito wage struggle in 2012.

Spherical after spherical of relentless warring adopted, the ebb and stream of battle favoring first one, then the opposite. The huge scorecards favoring the Nicaraguan fooled nobody who had watched with consideration and did not obscure the truth that the combat had been extremely aggressive; that mentioned, no less than the declared winner was probably the most deserving one. Tellingly, any considered complaining about one thing as trivial because the judges’ scorecards was shortly pushed apart by extra urgent considerations within the minds of combat followers. Specifically, when can we see the rematch?

Years glided by and, regrettably, Gonzalez vs Estrada II by no means got here near changing into actuality. As an alternative, Roman and Juan Francisco every went on a tear, blazing their very own trails and combating usually towards one of the best abilities to be discovered within the decrease weight lessons. Regardless of their earnings failing miserably at maintaining with their rising reputations as top-shelf pugilists, the Nicaraguan and the Mexican by no means failed to depart all of it within the ring each day trip, and with every victory, ardent combat followers had been left to ponder and ruminate on when a rematch may lastly materialize.

Roman Gonzalez

Gonzalez overwhelmed Brian Viloria in 2015.

Now, in the end, Gonzalez vs Estrada II is right here, and even when each combatants are nearer to the tip of their careers than we’d prefer to be the case, let there be little doubt that is nonetheless a must-see showdown for combat followers. In a sport that so occasionally delivers one of the best matchups, Estrada and Gonzalez have earned our consideration the immediately: by turning down no problem, by proving their grit and showcasing their abilities towards exhausting opposition, and maybe extra importantly, by dealing with adversity and overcoming it.

In 2017 Gonzalez suffered back-to-back defeats to Thai nemesis Srisaket Sor Rungvisai–the primary time through bullshit resolution on the conclusion of a really sturdy Struggle Of The Yr candidate, after which through categorical knockout, every defeat agonizing in its personal method. On the time Roman was extensively thought-about the best fighter on the planet, and so he was left no alternative after the crushing setbacks however to take a break from the game, pose some tough inquiries to himself, and determine some shit out. Defeats of such heartbreaking nature demand introspection like few different issues in life.


Gonzalez and Sor Rungvisai gave us a struggle to recollect in 2017.

Finally Gonzalez realized that he should return to the warring life, and that’s simply what he did. “Chocolatito” steps into the ring this weekend driving a four-fight win streak and with a sanctioning belt round his waist. And even when it’s evident the Nicaraguan has misplaced a few of his edge–his hand velocity is just not what it was once, and his mobility and footwork not as exact as in his finest days–there isn’t a doubt he’s nonetheless one of many prime abilities within the tremendous flyweight division.

As for Estrada, he additionally confronted Sor Rungvisai twice. The primary time, his finesse melded with the Thai’s energy to provide one other sturdy Struggle of the Yr candidate, full of dramatic swings in momentum, albeit one the place Rungvisai was accurately awarded the choice. Their rematch in 2019 noticed Gallito dominate the primary half of the competition with ease, and when the Thai stepped on the gasoline within the second half, Estrada stood his floor and traded bombs with the Asian with out taking a backwards step. The result was a transparent resolution for the Mexican, one which boosted his standing as probably the greatest within the recreation at this time, pound-for-pound. The truth is, if it wasn’t for a sure redhead from Jalisco, Estrada would have an uncontestable declare to being one of the best Mexican fighter at this time.

Estrada defeated Sor Rungvisai in 2019.

Estrada and Gonzalez will conflict in Dallas as two of one of the best tremendous flyweights on the planet. They carry with them a lot of the fearsome arsenal that they showcased of their first bout, however they complement it with hard-earned expertise and knowledge that they didn’t possess once they first went to struggle all these years in the past. Utilizing their most up-to-date outings as measuring sticks, it’s evident they nonetheless possess the stamina to throw the type of quantity that characterizes the decrease weight lessons, nonetheless have the satisfaction and need, nonetheless have the fireplace inside to place all of it on the road for so long as it takes.

Thus, all indicators level to a really historic combat and an epic struggle about to unfold in Texas, to not point out one other sturdy Struggle of the Yr candidate. Sportsbooks favor the Mexican, if ever so barely, based mostly on the actual fact he has regarded more energizing than Gonzalez in his latest appearances. Most not too long ago, he was seen besting countryman Carlos Cuadras in–you guessed it–2020’s Struggle of the Yr. However by and enormous it’s extraordinarily tough to foretell a winner right here with any diploma of certainty, which is usually the mark of a high-quality donnybrook, and a can’t miss match-up.

Roman Gonzalez

A yr in the past Gonzalez defeated Kal Yafai by ninth spherical TKO.

Most of us who’ve adopted the careers of those two proud champions over time each cherish and dread Gonzalez vs Estrada II. Their matchup, even at this late stage of their careers, is the form of duel that comes round too not often, and must be savored as such. However the reality certainly one of them will depart the ring a loser simply feels flawed to these of us who recognize not solely their ring abilities, however how a lot each have given of themselves for our leisure. To assume that the aforementioned redhead from Jalisco earned eight figures for pounding on a WBC-branded punching bag for 3 rounds, whereas Estrada and Gonzalez needed to beg for a measly million {dollars} a bit, must be insulting, if not infuriating, for everybody who follows boxing with any seriousness.

So the least we will do is grant these confirmed warriors our undivided consideration this Saturday night time. If their latest historical past is any information, at night time’s finish not solely will we be rewarded with one more traditional, however we might be left feeling humbled, perilously near the sting of discomfort, by the purity of their self-effacing pursuit of victory. Nothing like an actual, old school Texas shootout. And fairly probably, The Struggle of the Yr.                 — Rafael Garcia