Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez (51-3, 41 KOs) totally routed the underskilled Julio Cesar Martinez (18-2, 14 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision on Saturday night at the Pechanga Arena in San Diego, California.
It was never truly competitive, as Chocolatito’s high volume punch attack and his airtight defense were too much for the 27-year-old Martinez, who had come up in weight from the 112-lb division to take this fight.
The scores were 118-110, 117-111, and 116-112. Boxing 247 scored it 118-110 for Chocolatito.
Former Josh Warrington conqueror, featherweight Mauricio Lara (24-2-1, 17 KOs) defeated the game Emilio Sanchez (19-2, 12 KOs) on the third round in a thrilling war. Lara knocked Sanchez down in the first and third round. In the third, Lara was hurt on the ropes before recovering to drop Sanchez for the knockout at 2:59 of the round. Sanchez was hurt in every round of the fight, and it’s a miracle that he made it to the third before finally getting stopped.
Lightweight contender Angel Fierro (19-1-2, 15 KOs) and former three-time world title challenger Juan Carlos Burgos (34-6-3, 21 KOs) fought to a 10 round majority draw. The scores were 96-94 for Fierro, and 95-95, 95-95.
In the fight of the night thus far, junior middleweight contender Souleymane Cissokho (15-0, 9 KOs) had to get up off the canvas in the fourth round to defeat a spirited Roberto Valenzuela (23-3,19 KOs) by a 10 round unanimous decision. The scores were 100-90, 99-91, and 99-91. Both fighters were down in the fourth.
The unbeaten super middleweight prospect Diego Pacheco (14-0, 11 KOs) obliterated the hapless Genc Pllana (9-4-1, 5 KOs) by a second knockout in another learning fight for the lanky 6’4″ California native. Pacheco flattened Pllana in the first and then finished him in the second at the 1:29 mark.
Bluechip prospect Marc Castro (6-0, 5 KOs) was decked in the second round by Julio Madera (3-2, 2 KOs), but was able to come back to win a six round unanimous decision in lightweight action. To his credit, the 22-year-old Castro came back to win the decision by the scores 58-55, 58-55, and 58-55.
Making her pro debut, 2020 Olympian super featherweight Skye Nicolson (1-0, 1 KOs) pounded out a lopsided six round unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Jessica Juarez (3-1, 1 KOs). The judges had it 60-54, 60-54, and 60-54. Boxing 247 scored it 60-54 for the 26-year-old Nicolson.
Super bantamweight Anthony Herrera (2-0, 2 KOs) took out Jose Toribio (7-5 1 KOs) with a hard body shot in the fourth round. Toribio was cut in the second round from punch. The time of the stoppage was at :24 of round four.
Preview: Will Chocolatito school Martinez?
“Chocolatito has been a formidable fighter, he’s been amazing at times, he’s been in wars, thrillers. He’s a brilliant fighter and I’m such a big fan of his,” said Tony Bellew to DAZN about Roman Gonzalez.
“In Julio Cesar Martinez, you’ve got someone that is destructive and powerful and is going to be coming up in weight. He’s not going to be fearing absolutely anything. If anything, he’s going to feel like the bigger man because he’s coming up.
“He’s going to feel like there’s no struggle and can come back down. We’ve seen what he’s capable of over here, and we know this guy is a wrecking ball,” Bellew said of Rey Martinez.
“I’m not sure what Chocolatito has in store for him. Is he planning on schooling him? Is he planning on dragging him late? The thing about this fight is, I feel like Martinez gets stronger as the fight goes on.
“I think this could be, and I hate to say it because Chocolatito has looked good the last few times, but I think this could be the undoing of him,” said Bellew in expressing doubt about Roman Gonzalez’s chances of beating Julio Cesar Martinez tonight.
“The winning mentality flows through a camp and it’s so important, it really is, and when everybody sees what Canelo has done in going through all the champions at super middleweight division. Now he’s targeting the light heavyweight division.
“They all want to think [at the Eddy Reynoso gym], ‘I can go through divisions, I can be a champion, I can be like Canelo. I’m trained by the same man, we’re all at the same gym, we’re all doing the same stuff, so why can’t I be like him?’
Martinez must box at times to win
“The thing with Martinez, for me, is he has to be able to box with Chocolatito at times in this fight. I’m just going to put it out.
“He’s nowhere near as good a boxer as Chocolatito, and he’s going to have to find a way to get Chocolatito out of his rhythm and get him to start fighting and trading with him head-on.
“He [Martinez] found a way to get Charlie Edwards do it, but Charlie Edwards to do it and Chocolatito to do it are two different things.
“Can he do it? I actually think he can because I don’t think Chocolatito is the same Chocolatito from three or four years ago. I think he has miles on the clock, and I think the Rungvisai matches really made it hard for him.
“It’s yet to be seen. I’m edging it towards it, mate, I really am,” said Bellew when asked if he’s leaning towards Rey Martinez pulling an upset win over Chocolatito.
“I’m so shocked I’m saying this but I think those previous fights the I mentioned that Chocolatito had [against Srisaket Sor Rungvisai], I think they created a blueprint in how to drag him into the deep end.
“I don’t think it helps when you’re getting older, especially in that weight category. I expect a really close hard fight, but I don’t want to say, I expect, but I’m not going to be shocked at all by a big upset,” said Bellew about the possibility of Julio Cesar Martinez potentially beating Roman Gonzalez tonight on DAZN.
“If I remember, [Michael] Katsidis had Juan Manuel Marquez down in that fight [in third round] and had him hurt. And I remember Marquez getting up and producing a masterful counter-punching display, left uppercuts.
“He was one of the greatest counter punchers the world has ever seen, Juan Manuel Marquez was. So if we can get anything like that happens tonight, we’re in for a treat,” said Bellew.
Substitute opponent, Julio Cesar Martinez has a big task ahead of him tonight in fighting Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez tonight at super flyweight in the main event at the Pechanga Arena in San Diego, California.
Brought in as a replacement after Juan Francisco Estrada pulled out, Martinez (18-1, 14 KOs) missed weight on Friday in weighing in at 116.4 lbs at the weigh-in.
However, there was never any chance the Chocolatito vs. Martinez fight would be canceled. With the big money Roman is making, he wouldn’t pull out. Thankfully, the fight will go on.