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Juan Francisco Estrada and Roman Gonzalez seem finally headed toward long-awaited rematch

Both fighters were on Matchroom’s “Peleamundo,” sharing mutual respect and looking forward to fighting again.

Srisaket Sor Rungvisai v Juan Francisco Estrada Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Junior bantamweight titleholders Juan Francisco Estrada and Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez appear to be headed toward a long-awaited rematch. Both fighters were guests on Matchroom’s “Peleamundo” with Jessie Vargas, and spoke about the potential meeting.

Estrada (40-3, 27 KO) and Gonzalez (49-2, 41 KO) met back in Nov. 2012, when they were at junior flyweight. Gonzalez won by unanimous decision in Los Angeles, and moved up in weight after. Estrada has been chasing the rematch after since.

“I’ve had three losses and I’ve avenged two of them,” said Estrada. “I haven’t been able to avenge my loss to Gonzalez yet because we never fought again, but hopefully this time around, I will win, and that loss will be avenged as well.”

WBC titleholder Estrada considers the WBA titleholder Gonzalez a friend, and calls him a great champion, saying bluntly he has a lot of respect for the Nicaraguan. He rooted for Gonzalez against Kal Yafai in February, where Gonzalez regained a title at 115 pounds after some had written him off.

At 30 and 32 years of age, respectively, Estrada and Gonzalez are still top fighters, and there’s plenty of juice in this rematch, all these years later. And Gonzalez also considers the two to be friends, though he says that won’t prevent them from going all-out to win.

“I’m a lion in the ring,” said Gonzalez. “We put in the work to win but after we can be friends, and everything will go back to normal. It’s going to be a very good fight. Everyone talks before the fight but all that matters is the day of the fight.”

“It’s been eight years [since the first fight] and I’m very excited for this fight,” Estrada said. “I believe the people really want to see it as well. I’m a great fighter. It’s going to be a great show. It’s going to be a better and bigger fight than the bigger weight classes.”

The deal isn’t done, of course — for one thing, the entire sport is on hold — but both fighters appear to want it, and in terms of the politics of boxing, there’s nothing that should prevent this from happening. They’re not with rival promoters who find it difficult to work together, both have most recently fought on DAZN so there’s no network issue. After all this time, we really might get to see this one go down again.

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