POUND-FOR-POUND king Roman Gonzalez insists he will knock Carlos Cuadras out if they meet in a rematch of their 2016 classic.
‘Chocolatito’ became Nicaragua’s first ever four-weight world champion when relieved unbeaten Cuadras of the WBC super-flyweight title last year.
He makes the first defence of that belt against mandatory challenger Srisaket Sor Rungvisai this weekend and the winner will be ordered to box Cuadras, should he defeat David Carmona on the same bill in New York.
“As I look at a fight coming up against Carlos Cuadras again I realize I have to train harder,” Gonzalez said.
“Every opponent presents different challenges. I do believe that the second fight, the rematch, will be better. But heading into the rematch, assuming all goes according to plan, I will be confident and I know he will be a little bit more because of the time we shared in the ring. I do believe I can go out there and get the knockout in the rematch.”
Cuadras believes he deserved the nod against Gonzalez last year. After a terrific start, Gonzalez’s face swelled and Cuadras clawed his way back into the fight and staged a strong finish.
Ever since, the cocksure Mexican has chased down a chance at revenge and frequently goaded ‘Chocolatito’, most recently handing him a Barbie doll as a gift earlier this week for Gonzalez to “play with” until he “becomes a man and fights me again.”
Gonzalez, unbeaten in 46 fights, remains unperturbed.
“It doesn’t really matter what he says. If he wants to go ahead and get into a verbal match with me, that’s not what I am going to focus on,” he said.
“I am the champion right now. I realize that the rematch is down the line. I have a lot of respect for him. I am fighting for the lower weight classes and a rematch will be in the cards if it does transpire.
“That will happen down the line and I am all about fighting for the lower weight classes to make them prominent in boxing.”
Should he win this Saturday, there are some fantastic fights available to Gonzalez. Aside from the Cuadras rematch, a clash with Japan’s WBO super-flyweight champion Naoya Inoue is one of the best that can be made in boxing today. Plus, Juan Francisco Estrada – who Gonzalez outpointed in a 2012 barnburner – recently joined the 115lb party.
Beyond that, Gonzalez is also considering a move to bantamweight.
“From a legacy standpoint I have already accomplished a lot and now my goal is to hold onto my fourth world title in order to gain higher purses and more money and I want to continue to show that I am a quality fighter and I am a great fighter and I want to move forward and I think a second fight with Cuadras will certainly do that. But I am fixed on holding on to this world title moving forward,” he said.
“A fourth world title was something that was an absolute blessing. I want to thank God and it meant so much to me. Aside from holding onto my world title, I could possibly go for a fifth world championship – in a different weight division – but first I understand that I need to hold onto to this title at the moment.”