There can be as many stats brought into boxing as you like, it will never change the reality that the sport is basically governed by opinions.
Since Floyd Mayweather Jr left the building, the boxing world has yet to fathom who really is the new Pound-for-Pound best boxer on the planet.
Sergey Kovalev’s clash with Andre Ward is being labelled ‘Pound-for-Pound’, suggesting the winner of the contest will be the unanimous best boxer on earth.
Some still believe that Manny Pacquiao should be considered at the top considering he was the number 2 before Mayweather retired.
Others believe that the reputation of Gennady Golovkin make him the best fighter in the world today – although this one is very hard to make a valid argument for when you consider ‘GGG’s’ level of opposition to this point.
But while the Kovalev-Ward winner or ‘Triple G’ are far more marketable alternatives, the vast majority of boxing pundits and fans alike see the outstanding and undefeated Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez as the mythical leader of the Pound-for-Pound rankings.
His size in weight does not merely compare to his size in stature. Gonzalez 45-0(38KO’s) has become one half of a two-part act with Golovkin in recent shows, almost sharing the main event status.
Now, while fighting on the same night as Golovkin heads to the UK to face Kell Brook, ‘Chocolatito’ takes the realms of being top of the bill in California.
As ever, there is no light touch for the former WBA Minimumweight, WBA Light Flyweight and WBC Flyweight champion. The Nicaraguan hero aims to win a world title in a fourth weight division when he takes on WBC Super Flyweight ruler, Carlos Cuadras 35-0-1(27KO’s).
The two unbeaten operators combine for a remarkable 80-0-1(65KO’s).
Cuadras, who can almost be noted as a smaller version of Canelo Alvarez, has held this title since 2014 when he won via technical decision against Wisaksil Wangek.
He has since created a very respectable body of work, with wins over Marvin Mabait (TKO 6), Luis Concepcion (UD 12), Dixon Flores (TKO 5), Koki Eto (UD 12) and Richie Mepranum (RTD 8).
The only blemish on his record came in his first defence when his contest with Jose Salgado was halted early and declared a technical draw – under other governing rules one would imagine it to be called a No-Contest as four rounds had yet to elapse at the time of the stoppage.
Gonzalez’s record speaks for itself. This is his 15th world title fight, and his resume contains more than a few star names.
His biggest win came over fellow Top 10 P4P fighter Juan Francisco Estrada – whom a rematch with is being touted for some time next year. He also holds victories over Katsunari Takayama (UD 12), Ramon Garcia Hirales (KO 4), Francisco Rodriguez Jr (TKO 7), Akira Yaegashi (TKO 9), Brian Viloria (TKO 9) and McWilliams Arroyo (UD 12).
Now Gonzalez must go to the well once again as the 29-year old moves a step closer to breaking the unbeaten records of Floyd Mayweather Jr and Rocky Marciano.
Cuadras looks to be his toughest foe since Estrada in 2012. Cuadras is still fresh at 28, and the Mexican holds power in either hand.
The champion is capable of fighting both on the front and back foot, although he looks to carry far more power in his punches when he is on a forward march.
While Gonzalez is also a fighter that takes time to break his opponents down, the feeling is that the challenger is still the heavier handed of the pair.
Despite being tired, Concepcion was never dropped by Cuadras, in spite of many flush punches landing round after round.
Cuadras is light on his feet, but for the most part he will not be a moving target that the aggressive Gonzalez will need to go looking for.
The right hand over the guard is one of Cuadras’ most dangerous punches, but his variety is what has made him so utterly dominant in all his previous world title fights.
This truly is a fantastic match-up. A clash between two fighters so used to getting everything their own way in recent years.
(The pair’s final face off this week – Credit: Fight Hub)
Gonzalez’s guard can look impenetrable, but he does get caught coming in, but it is often dismissed as he lands hurtful and accurate punches to both the head and body.
In a fight that is just perfectly poised, ‘Chocolatito’ will have to take his fair share of punishment, but his work to the body will slowly break Cuadras down.
An upset is by no means off the table in this one as the two warriors battle until the final bell in a contest of high volume and even higher quality.
Both will pick out some memorable volleys of punches, but in the end it will be the aggression of Gonzalez that wins many of the close rounds.
Cuadras may be hurt once or twice down the stretch, but the Mexican warrior will fire back with all he can muster, making a worthy case for a rematch that boxing fans would be more than happy to see.
On the undercard, Jesus Soto Karass 28-10-4(18KO’s) will go to war for a second time with Japanese slugger Yoshihiro Kamegai 26-3-2(23KO’s).
There will be no punches held in this fight as the pair attempt to set the record straight after their thrilling draw in April.
Kamegai can outwork Karass, but the Mexican’s smarter punch selection could see him bust up Kamegai to win a close decision.
Whatever the result, let’s just hope that the matchmakers have a trilogy in mind.
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