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Juan Francisco Estrada to vacate WBA title, fight Jonathan Rodriguez on August 27th

Juan Francisco Estrada won’t go through with an ordered defense against Joshua Franco.

Juan Francisco Estrada v Carlos Cuadras - WBC Super-Flyweight Championship Photo by Jaime Lopez/Jam Media/Getty Images

One of boxing’s more under-the-radar sagas of idiocy looks to be nearing its end. Alfredo Caballero, trainer of Juan Francisco Estrada, told Izquierdazo on Monday that his charge will vacate his WBA belt rather than defend it against Joshua Franco on August 20th.

Instead, Fernando Barbosa reports that “El Gallo” will face former title challenger Jonathan “Titan” Rodriguez a week later at a Mexican location to be announced before facing Chocolatito Gonzalez later this year.

That card will reportedly feature a potentially dynamite co-feature between Rocky Hernandez and Eduardo Nunez and Hector Flores vs Sivenathi Nontshinga for the vacant IBF junior flyweight title.

To be clear, these are all very good matchups on their own merits. Rodriguez (23-2, 16 KO) absolutely fought his ass off against Jerwin Ancajas last year, the combined knockout percentage in the co-main is wild, and Flores (20-0-4, 10 KO) vs. Nontshinga (10-0, 9 KO) is should add yet another skilled champion to the 108-pound shark tank. It’s just the sequence of events that led to this continues to boggle my mind. I’m gonna walk myself through it real quick to see if I can get it to make sense.

  • In February, the WBA orders Estrada (42-3, 28 KO) to make a long, long overdue defense against “world” champ Franco.
  • Golden Boy wins the purse bid with an utterly putrid offer of $120,000. Everyone assumes Estrada will ditch the belt and go right back to chasing the Chocolatito trilogy.
  • The WBA announces that the fight is set and will take place on July 16th. “All the details” are finalized save for the location.
  • Radio silence for the next month. Zanfer Promotions’ Fernando Beltran insists that the fight is still on, with Salvador Rodriguez reporting a new date of August 20th.
  • Mauricio Sulaiman responds by vowing to strip Estrada of his “non-transferable” WBC “franchise” title if he goes through with it.
  • Estrada ditches the WBA belt, but takes another fight a week after his date with Franco.

Nope, didn’t work.

Like, what was the point of all this? Why is it okay in Sulaiman’s broken brain that Estrada take another fight before Chocolatito 3, but only if it comes against someone who isn’t his WBA mandatory? Why spend months on this if Estrada and his team were never going to take the fight?

It takes a lot to turn the WBA into the most reasonable party involved, but they pulled it off.