By Jon Uddin🖊️
The little guys are the headliners this weekend in boxing. Juan Francisco Estrada and Carlos Cuadras are ready for their sequel. Chocolatito is set to defend his Super-Flyweight title. Julio Cesar Martinez brings his torrid pace to the ring for what was originally set to be his second title defense.
Friday, October 23
Gimnasio TV Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico
DAZN, 7pm ET
🇲🇽Juan Francisco Estrada (-550) vs 🇲🇽Carlos Cuadras (+375)
This fight headlines DAZN’s own version of the Superfly series that HBO carried in 2017-2018. Estrada (40-3-0, 27KO) and Cuadras (39-3-1, 27KO) squared off on that first card, providing a great fight that saw “El Gallo” edge Cuadras out on all three judges scorecards 114-113. Now we have the rematch where Estrada, 30, will be making the third defense of the WBC Super-Flyweight title. His his last outing goes back to August of 2019 where he retained his belt against Duane Beamon by ninth round stoppage.
As for Cuadras, the 32 year old will be attempting to claim the WBC belt for the second time in his career, previously holding the title from 2014 to 2016 where he lost it on the cards to Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez. Cuadras squeaked out a 10 round majority decision (95-95, 96-94, 96-94) in his last bout in September of 2019 against Jose Maria Cardenas.
There’s always plenty of fight in “Principe” Cuadras but right now it appears this rematch is coming at a time were he and Estrada are moving in different directions in there career. Cuadras may be showing some wear from all the battles he has engaged in, while Estrada has looked sharp as ever since reclaiming the title by blowing out Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in their 2019 rematch.
Prediction: Juan Francisco Estrada by late stoppage over Carlos Cuadras
🇳🇮Roman Gonzalez (-2000) vs 🇲🇽Israel Gonzalez (+900)
After being setback with back to back losses to Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in 2017, Roman Gonzalez (49-2-0, 41KO) has reeled off three straight wins. The latest victory took place back in February when the sharp, relentless, and heavy volume punching version of “Chocolatito” that fans had grown to love, reappeared as he stopped Kal Yafai and gained the WBA World Super-Flyweight title in the process.
Chocolatito, 33, will be defending his WBA strap against Mexico’s Israel “Jiga” Gonzalez (25-3-0, 11KO) who has fallen short in his previous two title shots. Gonzalez, 23, lost his bid for the IBF title in 2018 when he was stopped in 10 rounds to Jerwin Ancajas, and later that year lost on the cards to Yafai. Although he is coming off of the biggest win of his career, a split decision win over Japan’s Sho Ishida last December, the competition is at its pinnacle against the great Nicaraguan who appears rejuvenated.
Prediction: Chocolatito by TKO
🇲🇽Julio Cesar Martinez (-3000) vs 🇲🇽Moises Calleros (+1100)
A split decision loss in his 2015 debut is the only thing standing between Julio Cesar Martinez (16-1-0, 12KO) and a perfect record. The 25 year old WBC World Flyweight champion from Mexico has been on a tear ever since, winning 16 fights in a row which includes stopping Nicaragua’s Cristofer Rosales in the ninth round to become champion last December. Martinez is known for the frantic pace and high punch output that had mowed down ten opponents in a row, until he found himself in a back and forth battle he would eventually win by decision against Jay Harris.
Moises Calleros (33-9-1, 17KO), 31, steps in as a replacement for Martinez’s original opponent Maximo Flores, who is out due to a positive covid 19 test. The good for Calleros is getting the opportunity at a world title, the bad is he will be coming in on short notice to face Martinez who is making the second defense of his title.
Prediction: Julio Cesar Martinez by KO
*UPDATE* The fight will go on but Martinez’s title will not be on the line as Calleros weighed in at 117.2 pounds, more than five pounds over the weight limit.
Saturday, October 24
Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, Connecticut
Showtime, 9pm ET
🇰🇿Sergey Lipinets (-230) vs 🇨🇦Custio Clayton (+180)
Sergey Lipinets (16-1-0, 12KO) has won three fights in a row since moving up to the Welterweight division, a move he made after suffering his lone loss to Mikey Garcia. The 31 year old Kazakh was originally set to face Kudratillo Abdukakhorov who was forced out due to visa issues, and will now face undefeated Custio Clayton (18-0-0, 12KO) from Nova Scotia. The fight is for the interim IBF Welterweight title.
Prediction: Sergey Lipinets by decision
🇺🇸Malik Hawkins (-200) vs 🇵🇷Subriel Matias (+160)
This fight could be an interesting watch. Baltimore native Malik Hawkins (18-0-0, 11KO), 24, is an interesting prospect in the Super-Lightweight division trained by Calvin Ford, and guided by TMT head man Floyd Mayweather Jr. The self proclaimed “Big bully of the 140 pound division” is looking to take the biggest step in his pro career so far facing Puerto Rico’s Subriel Matias (15-1-0, 15KO). Unfortunately for Matias, 28, he is most known for his tragic encounter with Maxim Dadashev in 2019. Matias returned to the ring later that year and picked up a stoppage win in Puerto Rico, but in his most recent bout this past February on the Fury-Wilder 2 undercard, he dropped a 10 round decision to Petros Ananyan. Matias is a tempting pick to pull of an upset here, but I’m going with Hawkins to continue his climb from prospect to contender status.
Prediction: Malik Hawkins by decision