Wow. Chocolatito really is something special.
I mean, we knew that already, but the way the 34-year-old Nicaraguan has continued to spit in the face of Father Time over the past couple of years has been nothing short of remarkable.
Back-to-back losses to Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in 2017 – yes, 2017! – saw many write off Gonzalez as a force at super-fly, but five sizeable wins have now followed, with the only blemish a hugely contested SD to Juan Francisco Estrada last year.
There were concerns coming into this past weekend that Gonzalez would struggle with the punch-power and aggression of Julio Cesar Martinez, but a lesson in inside fighting and pocket combos saw Chocolatito bully the younger man over 12 convincing rounds.
His laser-like precision is scary; his ability to pin his opponents to the ropes and unleash bombs is an impressive trademark.
He really is a once in a generation talent, and being handed this week’s first WINNER spot is almost offensive to the accolades that should continue to travel his way.
Mauricio Lara is becoming a real problem in the featherweight division.
Last February before his breakout fight against Josh Warrington, “who?” followed his name, but now, it’s a case of “who’s next?”
Lara is a frightening puncher at 126lbs and underlined this in another destructive display against Emilio Sanchez this weekend after a fire-fight lasting three rounds.
The Mexican didn’t have it all his own way – receiving a few big licks in the third stanza – but bailed himself out of trouble with a huge right hand just before the bell.
The 24-year-old deserves a title shot. Lara vs Emanuel Navarrete is the lip-licker contest at the weight and this all-Mexican affair would guarantee fuegos.
On Friday night Jose Ramirez reminded the 140 lb division that he’s still a big player looking to become a two-time world champion.
Josh Taylor’s imminent move to 147 opens the door for the California to walk straight into another title shot and reclaim some of the trinkets at junior-welterweight.
Ramirez is tough, gritty, aggressive and continues to walk forward no matter what is coming back at him. This tactic was more than enough to outwork Jose Pedraza in Fresno, but may well prove a little too one-dimensional if he is greeted by a slickster in his next outing.
Jose Zepeda and Regis Prograis are two of the obvious names in line for Ramirez in 2022 but most intriguing – and troubling – could well be Jack Caterrall, if the Mancunian is handed another opportunity at the top table.
In YouTube’s latest attempt to infiltrate boxing, we saw (well, those in attendance saw) a vicious headbutt and an intruder run into the ring at Saturday’s London event.
Obviously it made headlines; annoyingly it meant that I received two text messages from non-boxing fans asking who was involved and whether I had seen it or not.
I bit down on my gum shield and shoulder-rolled the questioning, feigning ignorance to the event – until I subsequently took a knee and decided to Google what the f*** they were talking about.
Ok. “Vitaly” vs Kristen Hanby and “Deji” vs Alex Wassabi were the two ‘fights’ in question, and I assume someone won and someone lost and someone drew and someone Tweeted something and someone wrote a diss-track about someone and some-blah blah blah.
I haven’t got the energy to be a real hater of YouTube boxing, but on a weekend where Chocolatito did what he did, salt is rubbed into wounds when headlines are gobbled up by these wannabes.
Julio Cesar Martinez
Before this weekend Julio Cesar Martinez hadn’t been bested since his debut in 2015.
The carefree “Rey” has flitted between flyweight and super-fly throughout his career, but after messing up the weight cut for his fight with Chocolatito it looks like his imminent future will remain at 112.
We’ve become accustomed to Martinez bullying and peppering his opposition since his breakout year in 2019, but the 27-year-old was dwarfed by a man way more comfortable in his own skin.
There are plenty of options for Martinez at flyweight where he’s likely to have more success with his exciting gung-ho style.