Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez (50-3, 41 KOs) is finishing up his training for his fight against WBC flyweight champion Julio Cesar ‘El Rey’ Martinez (18-1, 14 KOs) in a non-title fight live on DAZN on March 5th at the Pechanga Arena in San Diego, California.
Martinez, 27, was brought in as a substitute after Chocolatito’s originally scheduled opponent WBA/WBC Franchise super flyweight champion Juan Francisco ‘El Gallo’ Estrada had to pull out of the fight due to his slow return from COVID 19 illness.
Up until a month ago, Chocolatito thought he was fighting Estrada, and he didn’t want to cancel the date when he pulled out. Chocolatito, 34, says that his team put in a lot of work in camp with him and he didn’t want it to go to waste.
This isn’t the trilogy match that boxing fans were hoping to see between Chocolatito and Estrada, but it’s still an excellent fight nonetheless.
It’s a great opportunity for DAZN and Matchroom Boxing to increase the popularity of the Eddy Reynoso-trained Julio Cesar Martinez. If ‘El Rey’ Martinez can defeat the legend Chocolatito, it would turn him into a star. Of course, on the flip side, if Martinez loses badly to Chocolatito, his popularity will be down the drain.
Gonzalez on board with replacement
“It’s difficult to leave a sport you like so much. Thank God I have been harvesting many things,” said Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez to Matchroom Boxing.
“I can tell you that I have been able to do everything in the sport, but we are taking advantage of the final cartridges to finally say, ‘No more,'” said former four-division world champion Chocolatito.
“I understand and comprehend that sooner or later, I’ll have to say goodbye, and obviously, I want to do a few more fights for my family and my country,” said Roman.
“That’s what truly motivates me. I’m preparing for that moment. I have been training since November. I came to do a pre-camp. Then I returned to my country of Nicaragua to be with my family.
“Then I returned to Coachella,” said Gonzalez. “We have done seven training camps here. We have done various training camps in Coachella. I have liked it very much. We have done a lot of good work.
“That’s why I’m here with Marcos Caballero, and I have liked it a lot. We have been training for a long time for this very important fight against El Gallo. Then El Gallo got COVID.
“I hope he makes a great recovery and moves on from it. Then they offered me this fight against Rey Martinez. It was no problem for me.
“What I want to do is fight, and, it was also so that the training camp would not have done it in vain. And, I said, ‘It’s fine, no problem.’ That’s why we’re here, right?” said Gonzalez.
Chocolatito not overlooking Martinez
“The fight was presented to me, and, well, I never imagined I would fight him because he is a champion at 112,” Chocolatito said of ‘El Rey’ Martinez.
“He is right now in his prime. He is reigning in that division. I have always said there is no such thing as a small opponent. All are good. They all have hands, and one hand can finish a fight.
“He is a young man with his own particular qualities. He is good, strong,” said Chocolatito of Julio Cesar Martinez.
“And, most of all, I am hoping that both of us come out well from the fight. And may the best man win. As I’ve said, there is no such thing as a small opponent.
“And whoever is thirsty looks for water. I had my moment. I was younger, I was a young man. And when you are in your youth, you can come out with everything.
“The smaller weight divisions have been really developing more popular than before. That’s been a blessing. Thank you to all the promoters that have been promoting the smaller divisions. We are grateful to them.
“And may they continue to promote the young talents that are on the way. And well we are very happy because they’ve done a good job. Where they have seen the qualities of the smaller divisions.
“That not only excites me but excites other fighters in the smaller weight classes who are coming after us. It’s a blessing. I have never considered myself as the best. I never say it. I let people say it,” said Chocolatito.
Being out of the ring a year is going to make it difficult for Roman to fight at a sustained fast pace against Martinez. This is not the fighter that Gonzalez can afford to gas out against.
“But, perhaps, the talent and the blessings are something only God can give you. God has given me great blessings in boxing. I have taken care of myself for a long time.
Roman has lived cleanly
“I have never drank or smoked. At the same time at my age, it has given me the strength to continue to be where I am. It’s by taking care of myself. Taking care of yourself is the main thing.
“Without that, there’s nothing. That is what has helped me have my talent and qualities in the world of boxing. But, without proper care, you won’t have those qualities in boxing.
“So, I think the most important thing is discipline and taking care of yourself. If you are disciplined and you listen, then you will be just fine during a fight.
“I’m expecting anything that comes. That’s why I’m here. I’ve trained really well. We’ve had many fights. As I said, I’ve been training for a very long time, and I’m in excellent condition for what is coming along the way.
“I hope the fans enjoy the fight. It will be a great fight. I’m praying to God that we walk away well from this fight. That’s the most important thing,” said Chocolatito.
It’s good that Chocolatito has lived a healthy lifestyle all these years because if he hadn’t, his career would have surely ended a long time ago.
Chocolatito’s ability to throw a lot of punches is a testament to his excellent conditioning and clean lifestyle.