Juan Francisco Estrada and Roman Gonzalez will finally go toe-to-toe in the ring again on Saturday night, nine years after their first encounter. The WBA and WBC super-flyweight titles will be on the line in Dallas and it promises to be one of two cracking fights on the card.
Also squaring off are Jessica McCaskill and Cecilia Braekhus, and we have taken a deep dive into both bouts.
Chocolatito Gone Stale
Gonzalez took a unanimous decision in the 2012 contest with Estrada, which came at light-flyweight, and at the time the man nicknamed ‘Chocolatito’ was an unbeaten fighter.
However, the all-action Nicaraguan has since lost back-to-back bouts against Wisaksil Wangek, the second of those defeats coming by knockout in 2017. Those remain the only two defeats on the WBA champion’s record, who heads into this bout at 50-2 with 41 wins via knockout.
Wangek serves as a good measuring stick for Gonzalez and Estrada, with both men having shared the ring twice with the Thai. Estrada lost on a majority decision when he clashed with Wangek in 2018, but El Gallo gained revenge just a few months later.
That’s a strong piece of form and it’s worth remembering that WBC title holder Estrada (41-3, 28 KOs) is three years younger than Chocolatito, who is the
Gonzalez has won four fights on the spin since those defeats to Wangek, but three of those victories have come against low-level opposition. Khalid Yafai is the standout name on the 33-year-old’s record since he was beaten by Wangek, but the British boxer was previously untried at the top level and it remains to be seen what that form is worth.
Estrada stopped Carlos Cuadras in his last fight and that’s a decent performance considering Principe heard the final bell in all of his previous 43 fights.
This looks likely to be a high-class and competitive fight but at the prices, it could pay to side with an El Gallo victory.
Braekhus to Gain Revenge on McCaskill
The other highly-anticipated rematch in Dallas this weekend sees McCaskill and Braekhus square off once more on the undercard. McCaskill’s IBF, WBA, WBO, IBO and WBC welterweight titles that were taken from Braekhus are on the line and it promises to be an interesting fight.
The First Lady had seen off all comers in her 36-fight professional career, before a shock defeat to McCaskill (9-2 3 KOs) in Tulsa last year.
The Chicago puncher had only 10 professional fights before the Braekhus clash and CasKILLA was making the step-up from super-lightweight. McCaskill had previously been in with Katie Taylor and Erica Farias, so had been operating at a high-level, but it was nevertheless a surprise to see the First Lady dethroned.
There’s a chance that Braekhus may have been broken by the first defeat of her career, mentioning retirement after the contest, but the 39-year-old may also have taken McCaskill too lightly and she shouldn’t make the same mistake twice.
The first fight was closely fought, going the way of McCaskill via a majority decision and with neither fighter possessing any real punch-power the rematch looks almost certain to go to the scorecards again.
That’s clearly reflected in the betting, but the Bergen banger is a
5/8 shot to gain her revenge and that looks a price worth taking, while Braekhus is a
5/6 shot to emerge victorious via way of decision.
*All odds correct at time of writing