Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez could have been offered just about any late replacement and still would have proceeded with his March 5 fight date, reports “Boxing Scene”.
The legendary former four-division champion was disappointed about the thought of no longer facing Juan Francisco “El Gallo” Estrada (42-3, 28KOs), who was forced to withdraw from their planned rubber match after testing positive for Covid.
“They offered me a fight with Martinez. I told them it was no problem, I am ready to fight,” Gonzalez told BoxingScene.com. “We have been in training for this (rubber match) with Gallo and I didn’t want that to go to waste by waiting for the fight to be rescheduled.”
Martinez (18-1, 14KOs; 2ND) will move up to junior bantamweight, temporarily putting his WBC flyweight title on hold to face Gonzalez atop the March 5 DAZN show from Pechanga Arena in San Diego.
Both Gonzalez (50-3, 41KOs) and Estrada have been out of the ring since their sensational rematch last March 13 at American Airlines Center in Dallas. Estrada prevailed by split decision to retain his WBC junior bantamweight title and win Gonzalez’s WBA belt.
The bout came more than eight years after their first fight, when Nicaragua’s Gonzalez made the final defense of his WBA junior flyweight title with a November 2012 unanimous decision in Los Angeles.
“We had been training for a long time for this very important fight with Gallo Estrada,” noted Gonzalez. “Then, Gallo (tested positive for) Covid. I wish him well and hope he fully recovers so he can return to the ring in full health.”
“We will see what the future brings. For now, I am prepared to face ‘El Rey’ Martinez. God willing everything goes as planned on March 5, we will see if a third fight with Gallo is next.”