Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez is ready to go to battle once again with his friendly foe Juan Francisco Estrada on Saturday night at the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona, live on DAZN – and the living legend expects their trilogy clash to be the best yet.
The rivalry currently stands level at one fight apiece, with Chocolatito (51-3 41 KOs) winning the first battle over a decade ago in November 2012, when he successfully defended his WBA Light-Flyweight title in Los Angeles.
The Nicaraguan would go on to become the pound-for-pound number one and a three-weight World king before the pair finally renewed their rivalry in Dallas, with Estrada levelling the score in an epic battle via split decision in March 2021.
Chocolatito bounced back with a commanding win over Julio Cesar Martinez in March in San Diego and after Estrada successfully defended his Ring Magazine Super-Flyweight belt in September, the doors were opened for the trilogy battle everyone wants to see, and Chocolatito got to work in the gym to prepare for what he expects to be the best of the three.
“We know it's going to be a great fight, a war for the fans,” said Chocolatito. “But we have faith in God that we're going to come out victorious. We've worked well in our training camp, and you'll see this on Saturday.
“My physical condition has been very good, and I know it will be a beautiful fight for the fans. We've shown that the lighter weights have qualities that fans like to see. I get the feeling this third fight will be legendary too and many people will remember this great fight like the first and the second. The last two fights captured the hearts of the fans so, the third will be a tremendous fight, it could be the best one.
“The first was a fight that was decided on points at 108 pounds. It was an incredible fight, a close, tough fight. But with our skills and conditioning, we kept coming and came out with a good result on the day of the fight.
“The most important thing is we both came out of it in good health and thankfully we did our jobs well. We were satisfied with the work we did on that night over the 12 rounds. And we came out of it feeling great.”
While the focus is on the here and now, talk of the future for both fighters will inevitably come up whatever happens. Chocolatito is the older of the two at 35, but he proved with his performance against Martinez that he still has the energy to dominate the rising crop of exciting little guys.
Chocolatito acknowledges that he’s in the winter of his career but says it will be hard to let it go and will again, trust in his faith to guide him.
“It's difficult to stop doing something that you like, you know?” said Chocolatito. “God has blessed me so much in my life. I've been given pretty much everything, I know that we're coming to a stage where it might be time to hang them up, but we always ask God for time.
“The most important thing is to enjoy the moment. And right now, I'm enjoying myself because you'll never get these moments back so, I'm enjoying it, I'm loving it because I feel that God has given me such a great gift, you know?
“The fans have witnessed the great things that have gradually happened. Ultimately God decides those things in our lives. We're nothing without God. He is with me and if this fight is taking place, it's because this is what he wants right now, and it means lots of good and important things have been prepared.
“Once this fight's over, let's see what happens. What comes next. It's difficult for me to leave this world of boxing behind. But sooner or later I know that it will be time to rest, a time to find space in my life and to completely dedicate myself to other things and in the main that would be my family.”