Juan Francisco Estrada and Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez have a home for their anticipated rubber match.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that the decade-long rivals will take their third act to the Desert Diamond Arena (formerly Gila River Arena) in Glendale, Arizona. Representatives from the venue confirmed the location to host the junior bantamweight championship, which will headline a December 3 DAZN show.
Ticket presale is due to begin on Tuesday, October 4, with general sale to begin Wednesday, October 5.
The trilogy clash will come 21 months out from their second meeting, which saw Estrada (43-3, 28KOs) claim a twelve-round, split decision win over Gonzalez last March 13 at American Airlines Center in Dallas. Estrada evened their series at one win apiece, avenging a defeat from more than eight years prior at junior flyweight while also unifying the WBC and WBA junior bantamweight titles in the process.
Both belts were since relinquished, though Estrada still claims the lineal championship and WBC ‘Franchise’ title, both of which will be at stake in their highly anticipated third bout. Estrada defended his crown in an entertaining twelve-round, unanimous decision win over countryman Argi Cortes on September 3 in his hometown of Hermosillo, Mexico. The DAZN-aired win was immediately followed by the announcement of Estrada once again facing Nicaragua’s Gonzalez (51-3, 41KOs) later this year.
The December 3 date marks the third attempt at providing closure in this memorable series.
Estrada and Gonzalez were due to meet last October 16 in Fresno, California, only for Gonzalez to test positive for Covid. The show moved forward without them, as Matchroom Boxing rescheduled the bout for March 5 at Pechanga Arena in San Diego. This time, it was Estrada who was forced to withdraw due to testing positive for the infectious disease in mid-January, which also forced him to shut down training camp.
Gonzalez remained atop the show, facing and soundly outpointing WBC flyweight champ Julio Cesar Martinez (18-2, 14KOs), who moved up in weight.
Estrada still held the WBA ‘Super’ title at the time but was forced to relinquish for failure to proceed with an ordered title consolidation clash with Joshua Franco (18-1-2, 8KOs). The two were due to meet earlier this summer, only for Estrada to move in a different direction—one without the WBA title around his waist, as Franco was upgraded from secondary to full titlist.
The rivalry was first born in November 2012, when Gonzalez turned away Estrada via unanimous decision to make the fifth and final defense of his WBA junior flyweight titlist. Gonzalez was an unbeaten two-division titlist at the time of their memorable brawl, which took place at the now defunct Los Angeles Sports Arena.
Gonzalez has since claimed the lineal/WBC flyweight championship and twice reigned as a junior bantamweight titlist. He also served as the sport’s unofficial pound-for-pound king from October 2015 through March 2017 when he suffered the first of back-to-back defeats to Thailand’s Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.
Estrada enjoyed a unified flyweight title reign before moving up to the 115-pound division, where he became lineal/WBC champion on his second try. Estrada came up short in a February 2018 meeting with Sor Rungvisai, whom he defeated and dethroned in their thrilling April 2019 rematch. He has made four defenses of the lineal championship, three of which came with the WBC title at stake including his claiming Gonzalez’s WBA title in last year’s rematch.
The December 3 show will mark the third major boxing event this year to land at Desert Diamond Arena, less than 30 minutes from downtown Phoenix.
The venue played host to the May 21 Showtime card headlined by local favorite and former two-time super middleweight titlist David Benavidez (26-0, 23KOs), who knocked out David Lemieux in the third round to claim the interim WBC 168-pound title. It will also house the October 29 Showtime Pay-Per-View event featuring content creator and current cruiserweight Jake Paul (5-0, 4KOs), who will face MMA legend Anderson Silva (3-1 as a boxer).
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox