“Chocolatito” Impresses Again

By Caryn A. Tate on March 1, 2015
“Chocolatito” Impresses Again
We're all itching to see him face Juan Francisco Estrada in a rematch of their 2012 fight.

Román González is an uncommon talent and it’s a pleasure to see him fight regardless of the level of his opponent…

In the sport of boxing in the United States, it’s all too common for bouts—particularly those involving the best fighters in the world—to only be viewable on premium channels, and hence only viewed by a small percentage of the population. On Saturday evening, Canal 4 (a TV channel in Nicaragua) did a radical thing and made available, via free live stream, the latest title defense of world flyweight champion Román “Chocolatito” González.

González, agreed upon by most to be a top 10 pound-for-pound talent, came into the fight with a record of 41-0 (35 KOs). He was matched against challenger Valentin Leon, 38-27-3. It was clear that this fight was intended a tune-up fight for the champion; but Leon, who has also fought the likes of Hernan “Tyson” Marquez, should be commended for bravely facing the best fighters.

Round 1:
Leon came out strong and aggressive early, throwing lots of punches and applying pressure to the champion. González rode the wave, avoided most shots, and landed a good right hand about 1:30 into the round that staggered Leon. The challenger was able to sneak in a few shots on Chocolatito. Most of them, though, were blocked, evaded, or simply brushed aside by González, who was patient and kept a cool head throughout despite the flurries of activity by Leon.

Round 2:
Chocolatito appeared to be on the hunt—he seemed to understand he had the better skill and power, and could close the show soon. The challenger was boxing more at the start of this round, moving and appearing to retreat. Leon displayed good heart and tried to match González, attempting different tactics like clinching, smothering, and throwing more punches. None of these fazed the champion. Leon began coming in with his head more; whether it was intentional or a byproduct of his intent to smother was unclear, but González was ducking his head to the side in an effort to avoid a head butt. The champ began moving in aggressively again towards end of the round, and delivered a big shot that knocked Leon to the canvas and seemed to really shake him.

Round 3:
Leon appeared to be desperate and in a bit of a panic as this round opened. Chocolatito threw—and landed—some great left hooks and body shots. The challenger complained of a low blow, which didn’t seem to be that low, but the referee gave him time to recover. When the action resumed, Leon landed a few shots on González, but soon after the champion came on strong. He delivered a left hook that staggered Leon, then came a flurry of punches and pressure that downed Leon almost two minutes into the round. The challenger was clearly hurt. As the fight continued, González was smartly backing away and maintaining his distance while he fired, not allowing Leon to smother or clinch. Chocolatito seemed to have Leon seriously hurt at this point, constantly firing and maneuvering him where he wanted him to be. The referee ruled what looked like another knockdown of Leon a slip. The action hadn’t continued for long before the referee waved off the fight near the end of round after the challenger took a lot of punishing shots by González.

Román González is an uncommon talent and it’s a pleasure to see him fight regardless of the level of his opponent. He’s earned a tune-up fight or two. But we’re all itching to see him face Juan Francisco Estrada in a rematch of their excellent 2012 fight, as well as other top level fighters like Naoya Inoue. González is too superb a talent to continue taking stay-busy fights. Based on his track record, though, I don’t expect him or his team to be content with that—I expect that he’ll step back up, and soon.

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  1. Swans 02:29pm, 03/03/2015

    Perhaps I will write a letter to Oscar and ask him to put El Chocolate on the Canelo card; besides real boxing fans like yourselves deserve it. hmm a letter is a bit slow, albeit classy though ( and I must admit I own one of the best cursive’s in the game but Oscar was a fighter most of his life; he may have not had time to appreciate such refined qualities) well i suppose that settles it. I’ll just call him real quick.

  2. Caryn A. Tate 08:07am, 03/03/2015

    Matt, yeah, I saw that too—that was just updated yesterday or maybe the day before. Prior to that Estrada’s BoxRec did show Marquez as his next opponent. Not sure what happened there but I’d much prefer seeing him fight Marquez next! Now that’s a fight! And I hope Chocolatito does get on the Canelo-Kirkland card. He deserves a ton of notoriety—I’d love to see him on HBO.

  3. Matt Mosley 02:38am, 03/03/2015

    I got that Estrada-Marquez fight from ESPN’s boxing schedule but apparently Estrada is fighting someone else instead, a Filipino I think.
    Hopefully they can get Gonzalez-Estrada II done for later in the year.

  4. Kid Blast 02:01pm, 03/02/2015

    Ricardo Lopez is a very decent comparison

  5. Kid Blast 02:00pm, 03/02/2015

    That would be great. Also, Rios could find his way on one of these undercards I should think. Unless his arms arte too sore from crunching Alvarado at will.

  6. Matt Mosley 01:45pm, 03/02/2015

    Possibility Gonzalez lands on the Canelo-Kirkland card:

  7. Matt Mosley 11:11am, 03/02/2015

    My bad.
    It’s Estrada who is fighting Marquez on March 28.

  8. Matt Mosley 11:07am, 03/02/2015

    Is he not fighting Tyson Marquez next?
    I thought that was the plan.
    As the author says though, the fight that must be made asap is Gonzalez-Estrada II.
    Estrada is a great fighter himself, although not quote as good as Chocolatito, imo.

  9. Matt Mosley 11:04am, 03/02/2015

    One of my favourite fighters, Gonzalez.
    Pleasure to watch and technically excellent.
    As some have said, he is like this era’s Ricardo Lopez.
    Although they are not identical in style they are both small men who dominate(d) world class opposition.

  10. Kid Blast 10:55am, 03/02/2015

    Swans has the beat

  11. Swans 11:20pm, 03/01/2015

    Roman is cut from the Jib of the Oldschool and understands the importance of staying busy on his sailing voyage across the boxing sea. I wish some how they could put the Estrada rematch on The Mayweather Pac undercard.

  12. Kid Blast 05:58pm, 03/01/2015

    Roman is very “uncommon.” I love his ring moves.

    To hell with the Homesman. See The Drop

  13. Caryn A. Tate 03:53pm, 03/01/2015

    Thanks Frankie. No, I haven’t seen The Homesman yet! Thanks for the reminder. I’m going to have to find it & watch—your fondness for it makes me want to see it sooner than later!

  14. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 11:33am, 03/01/2015

    Caryn A. Tate-Great report! BTW have you seen The Homesman yet? I had to rent it from Amazon…..it was in limited release in Vegas and then gone….I don’t know what the hell is going on there. I rate it highly….maybe too much Jones and not enough Swank, who is anything but “homely as an old tin pail” in my opinion….but that’s just me….a person who is praying that Clint Eastwood has one more Western in him….please Lord!

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