June 21, 2017
June 21, 2017
Roman Gonzalez

Naoki Fukuda

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THE super-flyweight division, long one of boxing’s most exciting, filled with many of the sports’ legendary superstars, will add another chapter into its annals of memorable evenings on Saturday, September 9. WBC super-flyweight world champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, (43-4-1, 39 KO’s), of Si Sa Ket, Thailand, defends his title against former champion Roman Gonzalez (46-1-0, 38 KO’s), of Managua, Nicaragua, in a rematch of their epic battle this past March.

The rematch headlines a tripleheader that will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark beginning at 10:15 p.m. ET/PT. Co-featured on the outstanding “SUPERFLY” card is the highly anticipated United States debut of Naoya Inoue, (13-0-0, 11 KO’s) of Yokohama, Japan defending his WBO super-flyweight title against top contender Antonio Nieves, (17-1-2, 9 KO’s) of Cleveland, Ohio. Opening the telecast, former WBC super-flyweight world champion Carlos Cuadras, (36-1-1, 27 KO’s)) of Mexico City will battle fellow rival countrymen and former flyweight world champion Juan Francisco Estrada, (35-2-0, 25 KO’s) of Sonora, Mexico. The venue location and ticket information will be announced shortly.

“We’re very excited to present this fantastic triple header featuring the top five super flyweights in the world,” said Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions. “With the great history of memorable bouts in the super flyweight division combined with the extraordinary talents of these six fighters in these two world championship fights along with the world title eliminator, the fans will truly be the winners of this event.

“Boxing fans will have the rare opportunity to see if the new champion, Sor Rungvisai can repeat his performance with another victory or if ‘Chocolatito’ will prove that he still belongs at the top of the pound-forpound list by avenging a controversial loss.

“We have had great interest from numerous venues wishing to host this event, we are currently working through the locations and will have a site and ticket announcement shortly.

“Thanks very much to Peter Nelson of HBO for his continued foresight and interest in the lighter weight divisions which has influenced this tremendous event with the top five fighters in the super flyweight division being showcased.”

“This all-action super flyweight tripleheader will have fight fans eagerly awaiting September 9,” says Peter Nelson, Executive Vice President, HBO Sports. “We applaud all six fighters for their willingness to lace up their gloves to face the very best.”

“I would like to thank WBC, HBO, and K2 promotion for this opportunity,” said Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. “I’m honored to share the ring again and defend the WBC Super Flyweight Title against Roman Gonzalez. He is a legend and the best fighter I have faced.” “I’m training hard to be the winner of this rematch. Boxing fans around the world will get to see another great fight between us, and I will win and take the WBC world championship title back for everyone in Thailand.”

“I’m ready to go back into battle and reclaim my WBC super-flyweight championship from Sor Rungvisai on September 9,” said ‘Chocolatito’. “I know what I have to do to become victorious and with God’s help I will be champion once again.”

“As always thanks very much to Mr. Honda, K2 Promotions and HBO for this opportunity.”

On March 18, 2017, ‘Chocolatito’, universally recognized as The #1 Pound-for-Pound Fighter in the World and holder of the WBC Super Flyweight Title, battled Srisaket Sor Rungivisai in front of a massive crowd at ‘The Mecca of Boxing’, Madison Square Garden. Despite being dropped in the first round, the valiant ‘Chocolatito’ battled back in a brutal war that included a tremendous amount of hard-hitting from both combatants along with a number of head butts due to the aggressive styles of the orthodox champion and southpaw challenger. Sor Rungvisai was declared the winner by controversial majority decision, 114-112, 114-112 and 113-113 in a fight that many believe to be the leading candidate for this year’s “Fight of the Year.” The World Boxing Council (WBC) ordered an immediate rematch so there would be no question who their champion would be.

Roman Gonzalez

Stated Naoya Inoue about his title defense and first bout in the United States, “It’s been my dream to fight in the United States and I’m very excited to be defending my title against Antonio Nieves on September 9. I look forward to putting on a great performance for the fans.”

“I’m very excited to face Naoya Inoue for the WBO super-flyweight title on September 9,” said Antonio Nieves. “This is my first world title opportunity and I’m very grateful to HBO, Tom Loeffler and Tim VanNewhouse for making this possible.”

The 24-year-old Inoue is among the most popular fighters in Asia, having already made five defenses of his WBO super-flyweight title he was awarded following his second round knockout of Omar Narvaez on December 30, 2014 in Tokyo, Japan. Earning his nickname, “The Monster” from his heavy handed knockouts, Inoue is seeking to grow his fan base from the huge Asian community of U.S. based boxing fans. Inoue kicked off his 2017 campaign with a third round stoppage of Ricardo Rodriguez on May 21 in Tokyo, Japan. Fighting out of Cleveland, Ohio, Nieves will be looking to join the long history of world champions of Puerto Rican heritage. Undefeated through the first six years of his professional career, Nieves suffered his first loss very controversially, losing a 10-round split decision to Nikolai Potapov on March 10 in Detroit, Michigan.

Stated Carlos Cuadras, “I can’t wait to get back in the ring on September 9 against Juan Estrada. He’s a very tough fighter but I will be victorious and put on a show for the fans, then I want a fight with whoever is the champion ‘Chocolatito’ or Sor Rungvisai to get my belt back.”

“Carlos Cuadras is a great champion and we will have a great fight but he is just the first step towards me becoming the best super-flyweight in the world! See you September 9,” said Juan Francisco Estrada.

In a 2016 ‘Fight of the Year’ contender, former WBC Super Flyweight Champion Cuadras would lose for the first time in his eight-year career on September 10, 2016 by unanimous decision to Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez. Fighting furiously over the course of the twelve epic rounds in front of a huge crowd at The Fabulous Forum, Cuadras would come up just short on the scorecards losing by unanimous decision. Most recently, Cuadras won a hard fought 10-round unanimous decision over fellow Mexican David Carmona on March 18, 2017 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. A former unified flyweight world champion, Estrada is best known for his action packed 12-round battle with Roman Gonzalez on November 17, 2012 in Los Angeles, losing a very close decision. Estrada also holds wins over former world champions Brian Viloria, Giovani Segura and Hernan Marquez.

June 14, 2017
June 14, 2017
Roman Gonzalez

Tom Hogan/K2

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ROMAN GONZALEZ will fight Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in a rematch on September 9, according to the WBC.

Nicaraguan great Gonzalez was knocked off the pound-for-pound top spot by Sor Rungivsai back in March when the unfancied Thai fighter dropped and outpointed him in an absolute war.

The WBC, whose super-flyweight world title Sor Rungvisai won from ‘Chocolatito’, ordered a rematch after Gonzalez’ promoters appealed for one and things are progressing well.

Gonzalez never folded in the first fight and there were some breath-taking exchanges, making the contest a frontrunner for Fight of the Year.

As such, a rematch will headline a show of its own, whereas their first fight came as chief support to Gennady Golovkin’s win over Danny Jacobs. HBO are set to broadcast.

The original plan had been for the Gonzalez-Sor Rungvisai winner to fight Carlos Cuadras – who Roman defeated last year to initially win the WBC super-flyweight crown, a world title in a fourth weight class for the Nicaraguan – however the WBC has changed that ruling.

Instead, Cuadras has been ordered to fight another Gonzalez victim, Juan Francisco Estrada, to determine a WBC ‘interim’ champion while Gonzalez and Sor Rungvisai serve medical suspensions after their gruelling affair.

Estrada was outpointed by Gonzalez in a 2012 barnburner before unifying two titles at flyweight and then moving to super-flyweight last year.

It is being reported that the Cuadras-Estrada fight will take place on the same bill as Gonzalez-Sor Rungvisai, one week before Gennady Golovkin meets Canelo Alvarez in the most important fight of 2017.

The WBC will then order the winners of these two respective fights to meet each other, setting up some mouth-watering bouts in what is arguably the most exciting weight class in boxing today.

April 28, 2017
April 28, 2017
roman gonzalez

Tom Hogan/K2

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ROMAN GONZALEZ is likely to face Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in a rematch later this year as talks continue to finalise the fight.

Nicaraguan great Gonzalez was knocked off the pound-for-pound top spot by Sor Rungivsai back in March when the unfancied Thai fighter dropped and outpointed him in an absolute war.

The WBC, whose super-flyweight world title Sor Rungvisai won from ‘Chocolatito’, ordered a rematch after Gonzalez’ promoters appealed for one and things are progressing well.

“The WBC ordered that and we’re talking to both sides now about when we can put it together and the details. I think that’ll happen in the fall, that’s a fight that a lot of fans are looking forward to,” Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions told Boxing News.

Gonzalez was dropped in the first round of their March encounter and badly cut due to numerous head clashes. Sor Rungivsai was docked a point but used his size advantage to bully Roman at times.

Gonzalez never folded though and there were some breath-taking exchanges, making the contest a frontrunner for Fight of the Year.

As such, a rematch will headline a show of its own, whereas their first fight came as chief support to Gennady Golovkin’s win over Danny Jacobs.

The original plan had been for the Gonzalez-Sor Rungvisai winner to fight Carlos Cuadras – who Roman defeated last year to initially win the WBC super-flyweight crown, a world title in a fourth weight class for the Nicaraguan – however the WBC has changed that ruling.

Instead, Cuadras has been ordered to fight another Gonzalez victim, Juan Francisco Estrada, to determine a WBC ‘interim’ champion while Gonzalez and Sor Rungvisai serve medical suspensions after their gruelling affair.

Estrada was outpointed by Gonzalez in a 2012 barnburner before unifying two titles at flyweight and then moving to super-flyweight last year.

The WBC will then order the winner of these two respective fights to meet each other, setting up some mouth-watering bouts in what is arguably the most exciting weight class in boxing today.

April 5, 2017
April 5, 2017
roman gonzalez

Tom Hogan/K2

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ROMAN GONZALEZ looks set to get his chance at revenge against Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, who handed him his first professional defeat last month to lift the WBC super-flyweight title.

The Thai’s decision victory was disputed by most, especially as ‘Chocolatito’ suffered massive cuts due to head clashes, for which Sor Rungvisai was docked a point.

K2 Promotions and Teiken Promotions – who both handle Gonzalez – appealed to the WBC for an immediate rematch. Yesterday, the WBC confirmed that it approved this request and has ordered  Sor Rungvisai to defend his title against Gonzalez.

“The WBC Board of Governors considers that due to the extraordinary fight, which was extremely close and considering that the WBC championship rules regarding accidental head butts were not used, but most importantly, considering a public demand to witness once again a great match between these 2 great fighters, the WBC has granted the request by unanimous vote to order the rematch between Sor Rungvisai and Gonzalez,” their statement read.

Gonzalez, now 46-1, was considered the best fighter, pound-for-pound, in the world before Sor Rungvisai dropped and upset him in their New York thriller.

The original plan had been for the Gonzalez-Sor Rungvisai winner to fight Carlos Cuadras – who Roman defeated last year to initially win the WBC super-flyweight crown, a world title in a fourth weight class for the Nicaraguan – however the WBC has changed that ruling.

Instead, Cuadras has been ordered to fight another Gonzalez victim, Juan Francisco Estrada, to determine a WBC ‘interim’ champion while Gonzalez and Sor Rungvisai serve medical suspensions after their gruelling affair.

Estrada was outpointed by Gonzalez in a 2012 barnburner before unifying two titles and flyweight and then moving to super-flyweight last year.

The WBC will then order the winner of these two respective fights to meet each other, setting up some mouth-watering bouts in what is arguably the most exciting weight class in boxing today.

March 21, 2017
March 21, 2017
roman gonzalez

Tom Hogan/K2

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IN a New York-based gym in the build-up to their respective Madison Square Garden outings, former opponents Roman Gonzalez and Carlos Cuadras trained alongside each other as intrigued observers watched on.

The pair had collided in a 12-round epic at The Forum in California only six months prior, with Nicaraguan star ‘Chocolatito’ earning a unanimous decision victory to become his nation’s first ever four-weight world champion.

Having claimed that WBC super-flyweight title from Cuadras’ grasp on American soil, the pound-for-pound great found himself hitting the heavy bag only inches away from his previous Mexican rival in training for his maiden defence.

Both men looked set to trade leather once again in a rematch later this year, but a shock decision defeat for Gonzalez at the hands of Srisaket Sor Rungvisai has derailed such a prospect, while a mouth-watering clash with Japanese superstar Naoya Inoue now also sadly looks dead in the water.

Widely regarded as the top pound-for-pound fighter before entering the ring in New York City, ‘Chocolatito’ was involved in an early Fight of the Year contender with eventual maiden conqueror Rungvisai.

The 29-year-old sustained two sickeningly damaging cuts above his right eye in the early rounds from accidental clashes of heads, but gallantly battled through the night to ultimately come up short on the judges’ greatly disputed cards.

Meanwhile, ahead of Gonzalez’s first ever loss, Cuadras looked sloppy and discontent during his decision success over mettlesome compatriot David Carmona.

Many pondered whether Gonzalez would be the same fighter after such a strenuous scrap with Cuadras last September, but it was in fact the South American that seemed a shadow of himself and appeared diminished from their relentless war.

Having appeared his usual lively self in the gym alongside his former foe in that shared gym appearance, Cuadras may have been at fault for assuming a Gonzalez rematch was a formality after respective victories on the same card.

Any possibility of that intriguing second meeting between the duo has since been crushed, though, thanks to the controversial decision defeat for ‘Chocolatito’ at the ‘mecca of boxing’.

His place at the summit of that mythical pound-for-pound list may have been come to an abrupt end in light of losing his unbeaten record, but Gonzalez now faces a fresh career challenge following 47 professional contests.

His latest ring outing marked the fourth time he had co-featured on an event alongside close ally Gennady Golovkin on such a grand stage.

But long before the Nicaraguan became the petite sidekick for middleweight kingpin ‘GGG’ on huge pay-per-view shows, he already achieved the pinnacle of his illustrious career and secured admirable feats in the lower divisions.

Ironically, though, after years of rampaging through opponents and reigning top of many organisations’ pound-for-pound lists, ‘Chocolatito’ has gained a more widespread following since moving up to 115lbs, where his toughest tests have come.

Officially, Gonzalez was on the wrong end of a majority decision against Rungvisai, but realistically, the dethroned champion put in an exemplary performance during a gruelling 12-round encounter.

Despite enduring his maiden setback after 47 bouts, a daringly bloodied ‘Chocolatito’ threw over 1000 punches – setting the record for most power shots ever landed in a super-flyweight match-up in the process.

The lionhearted Nicaraguan’s total punches landed on Rungvisai were also the third most in history by a losing fighter during a title bout.

Such was the disputed fashion of his first loss, Gonzalez has called for an immediate rematch, though his sustained battle wounds should keep him out of the firing line for some time.

‘Chocolatito’ was dropped in the first round by his Thai conqueror but proceeded to showcase bravery in its rawest form to the onlooking New York crowd.

It’s evident that the four-division champion is at the maximum weight his naturally slender frame will allow, but that didn’t change his approach in going toe-to-toe with a clearly larger foe.

Gonzalez has long been an ultra aggressive fighter, charging at opponents with grace and fury, but his style at this higher weight against bigger, stronger rivals takes more of a toll on him throughout the rounds.

At times against a visibly broader Rungvisai, Gonzalez was landing an abundance of solid shots, connections which he’s used to putting smaller foes out cold with, but it was a case of attempting to chop down a tree with a pick axe in this particular meeting.

With a sea of red pouring down his face, Gonzalez dug deep to recover from a slower than usual start and was perhaps unfortunate not to have swayed the judges with his heroic surges late on.

In the build-up to his maiden title defence, ‘Chocolatito’ stoutly claimed he was willing to die in the ring and put himself through absolute hell.

In light of such a gory showdown at Madison Square Garden, Gonzalez indisputably removed any lingering doubts over such bold remarks, as he fell narrowly short of defending his crown on a blood stained canvas.

Although, the king of Nicaragua will no doubt return to once again contend for his place on the super-flyweight throne, after the scars of his last savage conflict have faded.

March 21, 2017
March 21, 2017
Roman Gonzalez

Tom Hogan/K2

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IF a fighter has been inactive for over a year, he will not be included in the rankings, unless he has a fight officially scheduled.

Each fighter is ranked on the results they have achieved in their own specific weight division.
A fighter cannot be ranked in a specific weight division until he has competed in that division.

Pound for pound

It was a tumultuous weekend of action that has wreaked havoc with the pound-for-pound list. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai pulled off an almighty upset against PFP king Roman Gonzalez, sparking a lengthy (and sometimes heated) discussion at the Boxing News offices.

The Thai’s decision win was questionable (though by no means a ‘robbery’), and he had intentionally butted Gonzalez numerous times in the fight. However, the victory is career-defining for him and throws him into the PFP mix, given Gonzalez’s standing – but where? We have placed him at fourth. Rather than have him come in at No 1, where Gonzalez was previously ranked, we have moved Roman to fifth, and placed Rungvisai one place above him. Unbeaten two-weight champion Andre Ward is now the PFP No 1.

It may seem strange to see Rungvisai above the likes of Gennady Golovkin, Canelo Alvarez and Guillermo Rigondeaux, but none of those fighters has beaten someone as highly-ranked as Roman Gonzalez – and our rankings are based on results.

Rungvisai’s addition sees the likes of Golovkin and Canelo move down a space by default. There was talk of moving Golovkin up after his win over Danny Jacobs, the second best middleweight in the world, however that would mean moving him above Canelo, and the Kazakh is yet to trump Alvarez’s wins over Miguel Cotto and Erislandy Lara.

Middleweight

Golovkin and Jacobs stay at No 1 and 2 respectively as ‘GGG’ outpointed the American in New York. Sergiy Derevyanchenko continued his destructive run with a win over an unranked opponent and stays at ninth.

Super-welterweight

Liam Smith (No 9) takes part in an under-the-radar four-rounder in Barcelona against an unranked journeyman.

Super-flyweight

Rungvisai – previously fourth – jumps to No 2 and knocks Gonzalez down to third. Carlos Cuadras, now in fourth, earns a points win over David Carmona.

Light-flyweight

Yu Kimura is removed for inactivity and Carlos Canizales comes in at No 10.

 

March 16, 2017
March 16, 2017
Roman Gonzalez

Chris Farina/K2

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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.”