Looks like we have the makings of a trilogy after last weekend’s verdict. We did anticipate a probable controversial decision and we certainly got it.
We predicted Juan Francisco Estrada (42-3, 28 KOs) to prevail in a close fight, but I thought Roman Gonzalez (50-3, 41 KOs) actually edged that one. This rematch was eight years in the making and it was certainly worth the wait.
THE FIGHT. Estrada came out more aggressive this time around. The first three rounds were close, with “El Gallo“ landing jabs and hooks. Gonzalez responded with strong lefts and rights whenever he came forward.
“Chocolatito” is indisputably the embodiment of calculated aggression and so by the fourth round, he was now stalking Estrada and bringing the pressure. The sixth was a barnburner with both men slugging it out in the middle of the ring.
Estrada landed several big right hands in the seventh, but by the ninth, the Nicaraguan was pushing back Estrada, landing short, brutal punches.
The 11th was another fantastic round with both protagonists landing serious leather. The last round was incredible with both men having gone through a war of attrition and still having the endurance to dish out punishment and remain standing.
VERDICT. One judge had it 115-113 Gonzalez, while the other two turned in 117-111, 115-113 tallies for Estrada. The 115-113 cards for either fighter were spot on, but the 117-111 for Estrada was certainly off.
The punch stats showed that “Chocolatito” threw more, and landed more with a higher connect percentage. That may not necessarily be the only metric, but the 117-111 was still arguably too wide.
By the way, Carlos Sucre the judge who turned in the controversial 117-111 card was reportedly “temporarily suspended” pending a review of his performance in this fight.
I don’t know what that entails, and it may at this stage be just an empty gesture to pacify a post-fight outcry. I think nothing will come out of it officially and so don’t look for any reversals to happen.
At the end of the day, it will cause more damage to undo anything that has happened and ruin an otherwise great fight.
FOTY. No doubt that one was an automatic Fight of the Year candidate. Both men left it all on the line and were slugging it out from start to finish, the errant scorecard aside.
In the fight game, the best way to settle any disagreement is to put the gloves on and do it again so the tiebreaker between these future Hall of Famers is practically a no-brainer.
LAST ROUND. It’s on my sister, Jeehan, who celebrates her birthday this week. Cheers!
March 19, 2021
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