Hearn confident Estrada-Gonzalez III deal close


Juan Francisco Estrada and Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez are on the brink of yet another fight.

Promoter Eddie Hearn told ESPN on Friday that he’s confident he’ll close a deal for the unified 115-pound championship trilogy fight next week, a bout he’s planning to stage Oct. 16. Hearn is looking at venues in two cities for the Matchroom on DAZN show: Los Angeles and Phoenix.

“When you talk about great rivalries over the years, this is right up there,” Hearn said. “Fight 1 was a classic and Fight 2 was probably the best I have ever seen live. The decider will be historic — hopefully it gets over the line soon.”

Estrada (42-3, 28 KOs) eked out a controversial split decision over Gonzalez in March, a brutal battle that’s the leading candidate for fight of the year. They combined for 2,529 punches, a CompuBox record at 115 pounds.

With the victory, Estrada grabbed a second junior bantamweight title and retained his No. 1 spot in ESPN’s junior bantamweight rankings (Gonzalez is No. 2). The 31-year-old Mexican is also ESPN’s No. 10 pound-for-pound boxer.

The rematch came more than eight years — and two weight classes — after their first fight. When they met in 2008, Gonzalez won a unanimous decision to retain his 108-pound championship in another fire fight.

The 34-year-old Nicaraguan went on to win titles at 112 pounds and 115; he was recognized as the No. 1 pound-for-pound boxer in the world.

That was before Gonzalez (50-3, 41 KOs) was viciously knocked out by Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in a 2017 rematch, not just back-to-back losses but the first two of his career. It wasn’t the end for Chocolatito, though. He mounted a comeback that culminated with a ninth-round TKO of Kal Yafai in February 2020 to reclaim a 115-pound title, before waging war with Estrada once more.

If the two future hall-of-famers meet one again in October, they’ll be fighting for not just 115-pound supremacy, but legacy.

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