Boxing Preview: Juan Francisco Estrada vs Carlos Cuadras rematch on DAZN

Three of the most exciting lighter weight champions are in action on Friday night at Gymnasio TV Azteca in Mexico City. WBC super-flyweight champion…

By: Lucas Bourdon | 3 years ago
Boxing Preview: Juan Francisco Estrada vs Carlos Cuadras rematch on DAZN
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Three of the most exciting lighter weight champions are in action on Friday night at Gymnasio TV Azteca in Mexico City. WBC super-flyweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada (40-3, 27 KOs) defends his title in a rematch with Carlos Cuadras (39-3-1, 27 KOs). Former top pound for pound fighter Chocolatito Gonzalez (49-2, 41 KOs) defends his WBA superflyweight belt against Israel Gonzalez (25-3, 11 KOs). The obvious goal is here to set up an unification rematch between Estrada and Chocolatito. The two previously met in 2012 in a great fight for the WBA light-flyweight title that Chocalito won. The extremely entertaining WBC flyweight champion Julio Cesar Martinez (16-1, 12 KOs) will go up against late replacement Moises Calleros (33-9-1, 17 KOs).

Estrada established himself as the number one at super-flyweight when he beat Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, the only man to beat Chocolatito, to win the title. He then defended it with a 9th round TKO win over Dewayne Beamon. Cuadras held the WBC belt between 2014 and 2016 when he lost it to Chocolatito. He followed that loss with two others to Estrada and McWilliams Arroyo. He’s won three fights since but hasn’t fought anybody really relevant.

Estrada is a very good boxer puncher, comfortable on the backfoot but with a preference to press the action. Cuadras is big and strong for the weight class but despite his physicality, toughness and volume, his technical flaws whether offensively or defensively let him down against elite opposition. Estrada beat him comfortably in the first fight, particularly in the second half of the fight once Cuadras slowed down and there’s no reason to think he won’t find the holes in his defense again, especially as Cuadras is now on the wrong side of thirty.

Chocolatito Gonzalez dominated boxing’s lighter weight classes for the last decade, he went 46-0 and collected belts from minimumweight to super-flyweight before he lost the 2017 fight of the year to Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and got knocked out in the rematch. While Chocolatito is at the end of a long career and has reached his physical limits at super-flyweight he showed in February that the boxing world may have buried him prematurely when he destroyed Khalid Yafai for the WBA belt. 23 year old Israel Gonzalez also fought Khalid Yafai and was on the wrong end of what can pudically be described as a controversial decision in 2018. His other notable fights are a KO loss to IBF champion Jerwin Ancajas and a win on the road against former title challenger Sho Ishida in his last fight.

Chocolatito is one of the finest inside fighters in recent memory, a brilliant ring cutter corraling his opponents and battering them with brutal combos. Gonzalez is a good boxer, with a very good jab and right hand and a decent left hook to the body. He’ll also have a significant height and reach advantage. While those tools could give Chocolatito some issues on paper, I don’t think he has the power and footwork required to consistently keep the Nicaraguan great off of him. Chocolatito’s best days might be behind him he should still have more than enough in the tank to get past Gonzalez to set up the Estrada rematch. This one might come a couple of years too late but should still be a very good and intriguing fight.

In the night’s opener, Julio Cesar Martinez should make easy work of Moises Calleros who stepped in on less than a week notice to replace Maximino Flores who tested positive for Covid-19. Martinez is one of the most exciting fighters in boxing, a brutal puncher keeping a hellish pace and never taking a backward step. His first title shot ended in a no contest when he hit Charlie Edwards to the body while the Edwards was on one knee after a knockdown. He picked up the vacated belt in his next fight with a stoppage win over Cristofer Rosales and defended it in a beatdown of previously undefeated Jay Harris. As mentioned above Calleros is coming in on under a week notice and despite being a career minimumweight, missed weight by over 5 pounds. He’s also 31 years old and has been stopped 3 times so things aren’t looking great for him.

The event is definitely an appetizer for bigger things but will provide a nice opportunity to see three of boxing’s most exciting fighters in action as they shake off the rust in their first fight back from the Covid-19 imposed break.

Action begins live on DAZN at 7 PME T/4

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Lucas Bourdon
Lucas Bourdon

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