Gonzalez Gallant in Defeat

By Daniel Attias on March 21, 2017
Gonzalez Gallant in Defeat
His warrior credentials sit alongside those legends of yesteryear. (Photo: Sumio Yamada)

Those that witnessed his display of courage over the weekend will remember much more than just the result…

When it finally happened, there was a look of bewilderment on the face Roman Gonzalez. It was clear he’d never had to deal with this kind of failure before. Bloodied and bruised, he’d just given the fans inside Madison Square Garden a night to remember, it would also be one that the diminutive Nicaraguan maestro would undoubtedly never forget himself.

The beauty of a prizefight fought with the highest of bravery is that no one truly loses. Sure, the record books will forever note a loss for the man they call “Chocolatito” but those that witnessed his display of courage against Srisaket Sor Rungvisai over the weekend will remember much more than just the result.

With blood streaming down his face in the twelfth and final round, Gonzalez walks forward with the relentless pressure of a prime Henry Armstrong. He throws and lands countless crisp combinations in an attempt to win the final point in the contest. The scene of that final round will undeniably become an everlasting ode to the grit and determination of the man.

The result of the fight is a highly debatable one. Many feel Gonzalez done enough to warrant the decision, others perceived a draw to be a more suitable outcome but regardless of the many differing opinions on the decision, what will never be up for debate is the tenacity and drive of this great champion, win or lose.

We’ve likely seen the best of Roman Gonzalez. At 29 years of age, having fought in 47 professional bouts, it’s fair to say there’s some wear and tear on his body and reflexes. Despite this, he took on an opponent who is a seasoned professional, a veritable tough guy. One who also packed a sizeable punch and had an obvious size advantage coming into the bout. And even after suffering a first round knockdown in the bout, Gonzalez continued to throw caution to the wind. He knows no other way.

What we witnessed from Gonzalez against Sor Rungvisai was a smaller man campaigning in his fourth and likely final weight class and it only gave credence to the old adage that a good big man beats a good small man. Even when that small man is Roman Gonzalez.

The fear of failure in today’s modern boxing landscape has seen many a fighter averse to taking on risks that could very well see them lose their ‘0’. Gonzalez, much like the aforementioned throwback to yesteryear, Hammerin’ Hank, has always proven his worth to the fight game by taking on the best there is.

Perhaps it’s his humble nature, his lack of “trash talk” or the fact that he’s in one of boxing’s often forgotten divisions that has seen his star qualities only just realized these past few years but these humble qualities have done more to endear him to the fight fraternity than any big noting ever could. As the great Bruce Lee once remarked, “showing off is the fool’s idea of glory.”

Gonzalez will surely have some soul searching to do after losing for the first time in his career but glory has already been afforded to him and his loss at the hands of Sor Rungvisai has done more good for his legacy than one would have ever expected.

The hallowed ground that is Madison Square Garden has played host to some of boxing’s biggest names and toughest men; a plethora of warriors that many of today’s fighters pale in comparison too. Not “Chocolatito” though. His warrior credentials sit alongside those legends of yesteryear. He may have lost this fight but he more than won the respect of the people.

Whatever happens next for Roman Gonzalez, a possible rematch with his conqueror Sor Rungvisai or one against Carlos Cuadras, it’s clear that he has finally become a star in his own right. It’s a shame that it’s taken so long for the boxing world to recognize the talents of such a skilled operator but perhaps as he ages and his skills regress he will be celebrated for his perseverance and fortitude, we all know there’s little doubt he possesses those in droves.

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  1. Koolz 05:02am, 03/23/2017

    yes Cuadras did win that fight he knows he won that fight.  Gonzalez’s eyes were swollen shut.  Cuadras fought better in that fight with Gonzalez then he did with his last fight.

    Now Gonzalez has three fighters to rematch?  Is he rematching Cuadras?  Is he rematching his last fight?  What about Estrada? 

    Very hard for Gonzalez at this weight.

  2. tuxtucis 12:57am, 03/23/2017

    @Koolz: if you want to know I think Gonzalez had lost his bout with Cuadras…The Mexican controlled the fight , specially in second half…
    I think former strawweight Gonzalez is not at his best weight at 115…And I think too now superflyweight is the best class in today’s boxing, by far…

  3. Koolz 05:25pm, 03/22/2017

    That blood probably swayed the judges.  And this wasn’t exactly an easy fight for Gonzalez.  he is at a weight class where fighters really can hit and do damage.  He has had a hell of a career.

    Heard the rematch might be mandated but I really want to see Inoue vs Rungvisai.  Inoue would box circles around that guy.

    I haven’t heard anything from Cuardas on the Gonzalez fight yet.

    Lee also practiced with Iron dumby that he beat up…crazy.  And his training was just as crazy where he switched Rhythms each day.

    Na Lee loved the spot light he was the Star after all!  and he was a control freak.  He was the guy that fixed everybody else.

  4. tuxtucis 06:37am, 03/22/2017

    @Captain MAGA: I completely agree with you, but i know moroons who says Robinson can’t be better than Calzaghe cause he has 19 losses while the Welshman has none…

  5. Captain MAGA 04:57am, 03/22/2017

    I think way too much emphasis is put on having and keeping the 0. Marciano and I guess now Floyd’s 49-0 means exactly what? I think this *record pales with the records of guys like Greb, Langford, Robinson, Steele and others. If you are out there fighting stiff competiton, there is no way you are going to come out on top every time, regardless of the sport.

  6. tuxtucis 12:30am, 03/22/2017

    It’s very sad Chocolatito is no more undefeated for a match he clearly won: Mayweather-Castillo I, Calzaghe-Hopkins or Marciano-La Starza I were far more closer matches…but Calzaghe, Mayweather and Marciano have this 0 and Gonzalez no more…

  7. Captain MAGA 06:09am, 03/21/2017

    “showing off is the fool’s idea of glory.” Great quote but I would say Lee didn’t practice what he preached. Guy was taking his shirt off in every other scene, and his ego seemed off the charts. Joe Lewis said the guy was always showing off his strength. According to Lewis, Lee took a 75lb barbell and pressed it out horizontally from his chest and held it there. haha. I’ve even heard it was 125lbs. You have guys that bench 500lbs that couldn’t even perform that. Total caca.

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