Juan Estrada Beats Roman Gonzalez Via Majority Decision

Estrada said he would go for a fourth fight.

Juan Francisco Estrada and Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez put on a masterclass last weekend when they squared off for the third time in Glendale, Arizona.

Estrada, 32, outpointed Gonzalez to win by majority decision and retained his lineal 115-pound championship.

One judge scored the contest even, whereas the other two scored it 115-113 and 116-112 in Estrada’s favour.

At the beginning of the fight, Estrada, now the WBC junior bantamweight champion, bossed Gonzalez. With regular use of his left hand, he kept the opponent at bay with the body shots that disrupted Gonzale’s rhythm.

It wasn’t until the sixth round that the tables began to turn. Gonzalez then found his footing and often pinned Estrada to the ropes. He continued to be aggressive and outscored Estrada until the 10th round.

But Estrada stepped up again in the championship rounds where he clinched both Round 11 and 12 Gonzalez with 26 punches.

Speaking immediately after his win, Estrada hailed Gonzalez’s skill.

“I do believe that Roman deserves the fourth fight,” he said in Spanish in translated comments. “I think we left the result clear about who the winner was, and if he wants the fourth fight, we can do it. He’s a future Hall of Famer. I won today out of my own merit. It doesn’t take anything away from him. I won because I was better prepared. I think that he still has a lot ahead of him in his career.”

That’s if Gonzalez (51-4, 41 KOs), a 35-year-old native of Nicaragua, chooses to continue with his boxing career.

“I don’t know yet. I’m going to talk about it with my family,” Gonzalez said in remarks translated from Spanish. “All fights are different and all fights are difficult, and I think this is the most difficult one.”

However, Gonzalez said he would fight Estrada a fourth time “as long as they pay well.”

Saturday’s fight was entertaining during the second half, but it was a far cry from their first two battles, which were instant classics. Gonzalez won the first meeting via unanimous decision to retain his 108-pound title in 2012.

The rematch didn’t materialize until nearly nine years later, with Estrada taking a controversial split decision in March 2021. Somehow, they topped their epic first fight with a total of 2,529 punches in the return bout.

They twice were scheduled to fight a third time, but those plans were postponed by positive COVID-19 tests, first by Gonzalez and then by Estrada. Gonzalez fought Julio Cesar Martinez on short notice in March and picked him apart en route to a lopsided decision win. In September, Estrada defeated Argi Cortes in a tougher-than-expected challenge.

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