Juan Francisco Estrada is ready to step through the ropes to face his old foe Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez for the third time on Saturday night at the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona, live on DAZN – and the Mexican ace thinks their fights are so good, that we could even be treated to a fourth installment.
Estrada (43-3 28 KOs) puts his WBC and Ring Magazine Super-Flyweight titles on the line against the Nicaraguan great, a mouth-watering third edition of their rivalry that began over a decade ago.
The Mexican dropped down to Light-Flyweight to face Chocolatito in his first ever World title fight in November 2012, and although he lost in Los Angeles on points, the then 22 year old Estrada’s stock rose following his performance and paved the way for World title glory in his next fight in April 2013 against Brian Viloria at Flyweight and then the Super-Flyweight titles that he successfully defended against Chocolatito in their rematch in Dallas in March 2021.
A third fight is an early Christmas present for all fight fans as both men expect to pick up where they left off in their thrilling Texas battle, and while they will always be in demand for other fights in the lighter weights, Estrada enjoys this friendly combat with his future Hall of Fame foe so much that he would entertain an incredible fourth rumble.
“We’ve had a great training camp and I’m desperate to get in the ring for the trilogy with Román,” said Estrada. “I’m happy and I feel it will be a great fight like the last two.
“He beat me in 2012 and I beat him in the second fight, so you could say this is the decider. There might be a fourth like Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Márquez, who knows? We’ll have our trilogy, and we don’t know whether it will end here or not. We’re going to find out who is the best, who will be leading in fights won and if in the future, God willing, there is a fourth, bring it on.
“The first fight was my first fight in the US, my first fight at Light-Flyweight. I was a Flyweight and had to drop down for this World title shot. It was a great fight.
“To be honest I felt good, but the weight affected me. I didn’t feel strong. But when the fight started, from rounds 1 to 12, we gave it everything. At that time, he was the champion, one of the best pound-for-pound fighters and he got the decision. I was a nobody. We put on a great fight, I felt that I won that fight by a few points, but he got it.
“Given the fight we put on, we got more opportunities. We fought Brian Viloria at Flyweight and you could say it was the fight that made me famous in boxing, it put my name out there.
“When we got to face Chocolatito again, it was at Super-Flyweight. Once again, we gave it everything. It was an extremely tough fight for both of us. Thankfully I was awarded the victory. It was a great fight and now we’re going for that trilogy.
“He’ll be a Hall of Famer. He’s a fighter that has won many titles in four divisions. I respect him as a fighter, and you could say he’s has had a very different career to mine. I’ve also won titles, but I think he’s a great fighter and in the fights we’ve had. I think he’s also realized that I’m not just any other fighter and when we fight now, we’ll decide who is the best.
“I think that friendship outside the ring is good. It’s important because I was invited over to Nicaragua by his team, and we had a great time. We didn’t even go over the previous fight or mention the one that’s coming up. We behaved like colleagues, friends, we stayed together, ate together. It was all very normal.
“When you’re told you’re going to fight Chocolatito, there is a rivalry there but it’s sporting. It’s not like. “I’m going to kill him!” that’s a different way of feeling. You’re more focused on having a good training camp so that you can beat him.
“In the ring I’d say he’s my enemy but once the fight is over, we’ll hug, come out of the ring, talk to each other and we’ll wish each other good health and we’ll be on our way.
“I’ve seen other fighters who’ll come to blows even at the weigh-in or the press conference. I don’t like to do that and neither does Román. We’re different. We display our rivalry in the ring, and I think that’s what people admire and respect about us.
“This fight is important because it’s the trilogy against a fighter who will be in the Hall of Fame. There’s no doubt that this fight is the most important of my career because imagine beating Román González. You wouldn’t be taking anything from him, but I’d be in his position.”
Julio Cesar Martinez
“Like I always say, with everything but fear, in anyone, and anywhere. We came here to do what we know, to leave the ring with our hand raised, but also, we hope that both of us come out well and that we walk away with the victory.”
Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez
“I’m super motivated, I’m super happy because we had a good camp with my team. We’re very motivated, we know it’s going to be a great fight against Juan Francisco Estrada, and we hope that the fans of the boxing world can enjoy this fight.
“If you thought the second fight was good, the third fight will be even better because we are prepared better than ever before. I’m in the best shape of my life, I’m very happy, and we’ve done a good job to show that I have a special talent and I’m going to enjoy this with my family and my people.”
Juan Francisco Estrada
“It’s been a lot of time. Unfortunately, the pandemic really stopped boxing, so I’m happy. I’m very well prepared. After my last fight, I only had two weeks of rest and then we continued camp at high altitude and I’m very motivated and confident about this fight.
“He [Chocolatito] and I are fighters who do our talking in the ring. Outside we’re respectful, but inside we disrespect each other. We’re colleagues outside of the ring and what we do, we do it in the ring and we’re going to show it in the ring. That’s why this is going to be the best fight out of all three of them, the best one will win, and I feel like the people are going to take a good show. And also, not just this fight, the undercard has great fights as well.”
ESTRADA VS. CHOCOLATITO 3 DATE, START TIME
- Date: Saturday, December 3
- Main card: 8 p.m. ET / 1 a.m. GMT
- The card will stream live on DAZN in over 200 countries across the globe
- The fight will be staged at the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona.
- Main event ringwalks (approx): 10 p.m. ET / 3 a.m. GMT (Sunday)
- The main card is set to get underway at 8 p.m. ET / 1 a.m. GMT with the main event ringwalks scheduled for 10 p.m. ET / 3 a.m. GMT (Sunday).
- Juan Francisco Estrada vs. Roman Chocolatito Gonzalez; For the vacant WBC super flyweight title
- Julio Cesar Martinez vs. Samuel Carmona; For Martinez’s WBC flyweight title
- Joselito Velazquez vs. Cristofer Rosales, Flyweight
- Diego Pacheco vs. Ricardo Adrian Luna; For Pacheco’s WBC USNBC super middleweight title
- Marc Castro vs. Maickol Lopez Villagrana; Super featherweight
- Beatriz Ferreira vs. Carisse Brown; Super featherweight
- Anthony Herrera vs. Juan Sequeira; Super flyweight