Juan Francisco Estrada is preparing for a triology…
The 32-year-old Mexican professional boxer is expected to meet Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez on December 3 in a trilogy bout for the junior bantamweight championship, promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing has announced.
This is the third time the third fight between Estrada and Gonzalez has been scheduled. The future Hall of Famers were set to square off in October 2021 before Gonzalez tested positive for COVID-19. A March bout was postponed after Estrada contracted the coronavirus.
Estrada returned Saturday to his native Mexico with a tougher-than-expected decision victory over Argi Cortes to retain the WBC franchise championship at 115 pounds. Now, Estrada heads into the rubber match with Gonzalez, a rivalry that began 10 years ago.
Gonzalez (51-3, 41 KOs) scored a unanimous-decision victory over Estrada in 2012 to retain a 108-pound title. Estrada (43-3, 28 KOs) exacted a measure of revenge in the March 2021 rematch at 115 pounds, but the split-decision win was marred by controversy. They combined for 2,529 punches in the return bout that was ESPN’s runner-up for fight of the year.
“When you talk about great rivalries over the years, this is right up there,” Hearn told ESPN last year. “Fight 1 was a classic, and Fight 2 was probably the best I have ever seen live. The decider will be historic.”
After Estrada withdrew from the rematch, Gonzalez went on to defeat 112-pound champion Julio Cesar Martinez in March in yet another master-class performance for the 35-year-old Nicaraguan.
Estrada, who relinquished his WBA title last month, is ESPN’s No. 1 junior bantamweight. Gonzalez, who was long recognized as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world, is No. 2.