We saw a simply incredible action fight this past Saturday night when super-flyweights Juan Francisco Estrada and Roman Gonzalez fought their long-awaited rematch. Without a doubt the Fight of The Year so far – and good luck to any and all fighters at any and all weights as they try to top the 12 round war that was instantly referred to as a modern classic – Estrada WS12 Gonzalez had plenty of us open-mouthed. Understandably, as great and as special as the fight was, there was virtually no time gone before talk turned to the subject of a third fight between the Mexican and the Nicaraguan.
In fact, promoter Eddie Hearn, who co-promotes Estrada, says “the whole world wants to see number three [between Estrada and Gonzalez].” These two great 115 pounders are 1-1, with both distance fights being close and extremely action-packed battles, and both men want nothing more than to do it again. But there is a problem. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai of Thailand, who holds a win over Estrada and two wins over “Chocolatito,” is Estrada’s mandatory. Not only is Rungvisai the WBC mandatory (Estrada retained the WBC belt with the close win over Gonzalez, while he won the WBA title), he also stepped aside to allow Saturday’s fight to go ahead. Now, in the interest of fairness, Rungvisai should get his shot at Estrada, this being another rubber-match that would almost certainly prove to be an exciting one.
But what will Estrada decide to do: fulfill his WBC mandatory duties, or give the world the third war with Gonzalez? Hearn spoke on The AK & Barak Show, and the Matchroom boss spoke about the difficult decision Estrada, 42-3(28) has to make.
“So, Estrada has a mandatory against Rungvisai,” Hearn explained. “So it’s difficult. But the whole world wants to see number three (between Estrada and Gonzalez). You know, so it’s like, do you (Estrada) wanna keep the WBC belt? Or are you at the stage where, you know, you wanna go where the demand is, where the money is, where the fans are at?”
A tough decision for Estrada indeed. Which fight, which third fight, would YOU prefer to see – Estrada-Rungvisai III or Estrada-Gonzalez III? In all likelihood, we fans will be treated to a great action fight whichever rubber-match Estrada decides to go with. But Hearn is right, a third Estrada-Gonzalez fight has immense demand right now. The way Estrada and Gonzalez’ styles gel so well, the way the two get into it and go into the trenches, the way these two bring out the very best in each other, makes that third fight at the top of everyone’s wish-list. Everyone’s apart from Rungvisai’s, anyway.
It would be a shame to see Estrada stripped of his WBC belt, and it would be bad for the deserving Rungvisai, 50-5-1(43) to not get his earned shot at the title. But would it be more of a shame – for lovers of a slugfest and for boxing history – if Estrada and Gonzalez, 50-3(41) did not meet again to not only settle their rivalry but also more than likely give us another all-time great fight? It might be too much to ask, to expect, for Estrada to go to war and give his all in rubber-matches with both men – Gonzalez and then Rungvisai (or the other way around). How much can even as tough a fighter as Estrada give? And if he does fight Gonzalez next, how much would Estrada be left with in order to then fight Rungvisai?
Again, this IS a tough one.