Chocolatito Gonzalez did it again, scoring a dominant win over Julio Cesar Martinez with a master class performance in tonight’s DAZN main event from San Diego.
Chocolatito (51-3, 41 KO) won on scores of 116-112, 117-111, and 118-110, and honestly, the first card especially does not reflect the fight most saw. Bad Left Hook had the fight 119-109 and 119-109 on two separate score cards.
The 34-year-old Chocolatito was simply too good for Martinez, the younger man at 27 and a damn good fighter, and incredibly tough as he proved tonight, but simply lacking the experience and all-around skill set of the Nicaraguan living legend, who didn’t look near his age or like he’s had 54 fights, many against top fighters.
Martinez, who didn’t make weight on Friday, still looked like the smaller man, and more than that, he just got a boxing lesson from a master tonight. Martinez’s energy was drained by the middle rounds, and he also complained of his hands hurting him — he has had hand issues in the past, and he didn’t quit in this fight, he gave it all he had until the end.
But the wide, winging power shots of Martinez were not rewarded the way they usually are, meaning he was expending energy without doing the damage he normally does. Not only did he never really hurt Chocolatito that you could tell, but he never seemed to get real close to it. His best chance was always in a close quarters firefight, landing something big that could change the course of the bout, and that just never happened.
On the other side, Gonzalez picked Martinez (18-2, 14 KO) apart relentlessly. He took a bit of a breather in the fifth round, but dominated again after that. His technique was vastly superior, he had zero hesitation, and he landed a ton of clean shots, often in precision combination. Martinez never really had a chance with him.
“I wanted to feel his power at first, I wanted to wilt him little by little, and that’s what I did,” Chocolatito said via an interpreter. “He’s very courageous and he can take a lot of punishment. I was surprised he went the distance, but that indicates he came in really great condition.”
Asked if he wanted to fight Juan Francisco Estrada again — the originally planned bout for this date — in a rubber match or someone else, Chocolatito replied, “Whatever comes, the boss is here, he’ll decide. As long as they pay me well.”
“That was an incredible performance from a pound-for-pound legend,” promoter Eddie Hearn said. “You saw the difference between a very good world champion and a pound-for-pound legend in this sport. Chocolatito was incredible. The Estrada trilogy is always there, Estrada’s been called to fight (Joshua) Franco. Jesse Rodriguez has to fight (Srisaket Sor) Rungvisai. That was a sublime performance tonight. There’s so many great fights, I’d love to see the Estrada trilogy, Jesse Rodriguez.”
On Martinez’s effort, Hearn was complimentary but realistic.
“What heart. You gained so many fans from that, people love spirit, people love heart,” he stated. “He looked too small, he looked too inexperienced, he looked not good enough to beat what is one of the greatest fighters of all time. Martinez will go back to flyweight, I think he’ll have to face a mandatory. Big respect to him taking the fight, but tonight was about one of the greatest to ever do it.”
Martinez does still hold the WBC flyweight title, though there should be at least a little question of whether or not he can still make that weight.
Chocolatito vs Martinez highlights
Welcome back, David Diamante
Undercard highlights and results
- Mauricio Lara KO-3 Emilio Sanchez: This was a war. It was mostly Lara’s way, and he obviously got a monster KO at the very end of round three, but Lara was hurt pretty badly and may have been gassing out due to some body shots from Sanchez in that same round. Sanchez (19-2, 12 KO) was also down in the first round, and Lara (24-2-1, 17 KO) made him go to war from the get-go. Sanchez did his best, but Lara has really, really heavy hands at 126 lbs. Lara is hittable and vulnerable, but I’ll tune in to watch this guy any time against anyone. This was like a poor man’s Hagler-Hearns, and “poor man’s” is not an insult when you’re comparing it to something that divine.
- Angel Fierro D-10 Juan Carlos Burgos: A disappointing result and a disappointing performance for Fierro, who signed with Matchroom after a wild Ring City USA stoppage win over Alberto Machado about a year ago. As soon as it was mentioned early in round one that these two had “sparred over 100 rounds” in the past, I worried we’d see 10 more rounds of what basically amounted to sparring. We did. There was really nothing much at all to see here. Occasionally, Fierro (19-1-2, 15 KO) had moments. Occasionally, the veteran Burgos (34-6-3, 21 KO) had moments. Nobody strung very many together. Nobody developed real momentum. I had Fierro up in the first half of the fight but Burgos scratching back into it in the second half. My card was 96-94 Fierro, Wil Esco had it 95-95 on his unofficial card, and his card matched two of the official scores. So it was 95-95 on two of the real cards and 96-94 Fierro on the third, resulting in the majority draw. Please, no rematch.
- Souleymane Cissokho UD-10 Roberto Valenzuela Jr: This fight had one exciting round, the fourth, where Cissokho went down pretty hard early, weathered the slow-footed storm of Valenzuela, and then dropped the Mexican late in the round. Other than that it was one-way traffic for Cissokho (15-0, 9 KO), a 2016 Olympian for France who stays unbeaten as he considers his options between staying at 154, where Matchroom don’t have a lot for him, or 147, where Matchroom don’t have a lot for him. He has some flaws — Sergio Mora rightly pointed out that he pulls out with his chin up a lot, which got him dropped — but he was way too skilled for Valenzuela (19-3, 19 KO), who doesn’t really beat fighters who are, how you say, “any good.”
- Diego Pacheco TKO-2 Genc Pllana
- Marc Castro UD-6 Julio Madera
- Skye Nicolson UD-6 Jessica Juarez
- Anthony Herrera KO-4 Jose Toribio