Even Juan Francisco Estrada seemed surprised to hear Michael Buffer announce that he had won yet another rematch Saturday night.
Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez seemingly out-worked Estrada in their terrific fight, but two judges scored their thrilling 12-round, 115-pound championship match for Estrada. Judge Jesse Reyes credited Gonzalez with a 115-113 win, but he was overruled by judges Carlos Sucre (117-111) and David Sutherland (115-113) in the main event at American Airlines Center in Dallas.
Sucre somehow scored nine rounds for Mexico’s Estrada, who won seven rounds according to Sutherland. Reyes scored seven rounds for Nicaragua’s Gonzalez, who lost a split decision.
“I think I did enough to win,” Estrada told DAZN’s Chris Mannix during his post-fight interview in the ring. “Chocolatito’s a great fighter and I think he deserves the trilogy. I knew it was a close fight. I didn’t know if I was up or down [through 10 rounds], but I needed to close out the fight in the last two rounds.”
CompuBox counted 74 more punches overall for Gonzalez, whom they credited for out-landing Estrada, 391-317. Gonzalez landed more power punches (352-297) and more jabs (39-17) than Estrada, according to CompuBox.
CompuBox also credited Gonzalez (1,317) and Estrada (1,212) for throwing more punches combined – 2,529 – in this fight than any other 115-pound bout tracked by the company.
Estrada’s debatable win could lead to an eventual rubber match with the former pound-for-pound king.
Regardless, Estrada (42-3, 28 KOs) retained his WBC super flyweight title and took the WBA 115-pound championship from Gonzalez (50-3, 41 KOs). The 30-year-old Estrada also avenged the last of his three professional defeats by beating Gonzalez, who defeated Estrada by unanimous decision in their 12-round, 108-pound title fight in November 2012 in Los Angeles.
Before Saturday night, he already had beaten Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr., the first and third opponents to defeat Estrada.
His victory over Gonzalez moved Estrada toward a third fight against Sor Rungvisai (50-5-1, 43 KOs). The Thai southpaw is the mandatory challenger for the WBC belt Estrada took from him by winning a 12-round unanimous decision in April 2019 at The Forum in Inglewood, California.
Sor Rungvisai was the only opponent to beat Gonzalez before Estrada defeated him.
Gonzalez was his typical gracious self in defeat.
“Whatever happened had to happen, but I gave it a great fight,” Gonzalez said. “I would’ve been happy either way with the result. I did my work. The only guarantee is from the lord.”
Gonzalez and Estrada slugged it out at an absurd pace during the 12th round. A right hand by Gonzalez stunned Estrada with just under 50 seconds to go in their second fight.
Estrada still came back to throw hard shots at Gonzalez, but he couldn’t hurt Gonzalez.
Estrada landed a right hand early in the 11th round. They traded power punches for the remainder of an action-packed 11th round.
Gonzalez landed numerous short shots while fighting Estrada on the inside during the 10th round. Estrada wasn’t nearly as accurate as Gonzalez in those three minutes.
An aggressive Gonzalez connected with several right hands in the first two minutes of the ninth round. A left hand by Gonzalez knocked Estrada off balance with just under 40 seconds to go in the ninth round.
A right-left combination by Gonzalez landed with about 10 seconds on the clock in the eighth round. Estrada stalked Gonzalez for much of the eighth round, but he didn’t land many clean punches in those three minutes.
Estrada blasted Gonzalez with a right hand about 45 seconds into the seventh round. Estrada landed hard shots, often in combination, later in the seventh round, but Gonzalez often fired back with power punches of his own.
Estrada landed a right uppercut that made Gonzalez step back and paw at his left eye with about 1:20 left in the sixth round. A right-left combination by Estrada landed with about 35 seconds to go in what was an impressive sixth round for him.
Gonzalez and Estrada fought at a blistering pace throughout the first half of the fifth round. Gonzalez nailed Estrada with a right hand with about 1:20 to go in the fifth.
Pabon warned Gonzalez for a low blow with just over 40 seconds remaining in the fifth round.
Estrada’s four-punch combination connected with 1:25 to go in the fourth round. Moments later, Gonzalez drilled Estrada with a right hand.
Gonzalez landed another right hand a few seconds later that backed Estrada into the ropes.
Estrada followed his left hook to the body with a left hook up top with about 1:20 to go in the third round. A right hand by Estrada backed up Gonzalez in the final 10 seconds of the third round.
A right hand by Estrada knocked Gonzalez into the ropes with a little less than a minute into the second round. A left-right combination by Gonzalez landed just after the midway mark of the second round.
Estrada and Gonzalez missed most of their punches during what amounted to a tactical first round.