Julio Cesar Martinez returning to 112 after loss to Chocolatito Gonzalez

03/06/2022 - By Will Arons - Comments

An overmatched and undersized Julio Cesar Martinez (18-2, 14 KOs) suffered a disappointing 12 round unanimous decision last Saturday night at the hands of Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez (51-3, 41 KOs) at the Pechanga Arena in San Diego, California.

According to Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, Rey Martinez’s options for his next fight are these two fighters: McWilliams Arroyo and IBF flyweight champion Sunny Edwards.

Hearn acknowledges that the 27-year-old Rey Martinez lacked the size and experience to be going up against the former four-division world champion Chocolatito Gonzalez on just 6 1/2 weeks notice.

In hindsight, it was the wrong move for WBC flyweight champion Rey Martinez to come up in weight to challenge the bigger and more experienced Chocolatito for the WBC Diamond super flyweight title last Saturday night in the main event on DAZN.

The lopsided scores reflected how much of a mismatch this fight was with the judges scoring it 116-112, 117-110, 118-110.

Chocolatito aging in reverse?

“Just an incredible performance,” Hearn said to iFL TV on Roman Gonzalez’s win over Julio Cesar Martinez last Saturday night. “Obviously, I represent both guys, but I do love Julio Cesar Martinez, but what you saw was a really good world champion against a pound-for-pound legend.

Julio Cesar Martinez returning to 112 after loss to Chocolatito Gonzalez

“I said to him in the changing room, ‘You’re like Benjamin Button,'” said Hearn about the 34-year-old Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez, who appears to be aging in reverse like the character in the 2008 Brad Pitt movie, ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.’

“He is, he’s getting better and better, and he’s looking younger and younger. You can’t possibly say on a performance like that, ‘You should hang up the gloves.’ But there aren’t many fights out there for him,” Hearn said of Chocolatito.

“There’s the Estrada trilogy and Jesse Rodriguez, who might beat everybody. I don’t know. I think that was one of my favorite Chocolatito performances; I thought that was brilliant.

“There is a mandatory coming for [WBA regular super flyweight champion] Joshua Franco. We’re thinking of doing a doubleheader between Estrada and Franco and Jesse Rodriguez and Rungvisai in San Antonio.

“But the trilogy [between Estrada and Chocolatito] is still a huge fight, but we’ll have to see. We’ll go over it tonight, and then we’ll go from there,” Hearn said.

Rey Martinez returning to 112-lb division

“He took the fight on 5 1/2 weeks notice, so you’ve got to give him incredible respect,” Hearn said of Rey Martinez. “He was smaller than Chocolatito, you could see that, and nothing ventured, nothing gained. That’s the situation with him.

“He’ll move back down to flyweight, and he does have a mandatory in [McWilliams] Arroyo. It was a no-contest last time, and we like the Sunny Edwards contest as well. He’s a brilliant fighter, and he gained a lot of fans tonight.

“He never stopped trying to win the fight. Tremendous respect for him, and he’s got a big future,” said Hearn of Rey Martinez.

“He was too experienced; he was probably too big, too cute and just an incredible fight, an incredible night, what an atmosphere, what a show. It was a brilliant night,” Hearn continued on the Roman Gonzalez vs. Julio Martinez clash in San Diego.

“It was the perfect mixture of things. It was the perfect location, it was Chocolatito, it was Julio Cesar Martinez, it’s Matchroom, me, Canelo, and we’re growing so considerably in America, particularly to the Hispanic and Mexican community as well.

“That’s the atmosphere you get for Mexican boxing. Just incredible. So many great fights, so many talking points, huge crowd, great atmosphere. It was a massive mega-night,” said Hearn.

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