The co-main event was a fan-friendly fight that excited the limited personnel within the closed venue, as 🇳🇮Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (50-2-0, 41KO) fought like a machine tonight, reminiscent of his best days as he outdueled game, top-contender in Israel Gonzalez (25-3-0, 11KO) to retain and defend his WBA Super-Flyweight strap. Chocolatito with this victory secured the 50th win of his illustrious Hall-of-Fame career.
Gonzalez (Israel that is) immediately looked to fight off the backfoot and probe with the jab to keep Choco busy, while he feinted, and stalked his way coming in, looking to get a beat on his taller, rangier opponent. Roman landed his first sharp right hand ⏲️2 minutes into the round, and though it didn’t stun his opponent, it certainly got his attention. From that moment on he opened up down the stretch of the first round.
You could tell how badly Israel wanted this fight, as he came fully prepared, and in how sharp he delivered his punches. A bit of a fight broke out in the second round, with both giving and taking respectably, standing their ground. While Israel had a strong beginning to the second, Chocolatito landed some sharp combinations to the head and the body down the line to accentuate the 🛎️round, by this point, the intrigue of this contest heightened due to what was shown to this point.
It looked like Choco landed and bothered Israel early, and opened up the vault, throwing all variation of punches to the head and body while shifting to change the angles in which his shots were coming from, swamping Israel as he shelled up for most of the incoming fire. Perhaps with Chocolatito landing in high volume, it took some of the starch out of the challengers legs due to his movement stopping, and opting to trade with the decorated Champion throughout the third.
Israel displayed great head and waist movement, but he was rendered to just avoiding the buzzsaw of shots coming his way instead of looking, and finding ways to land something significant of his own, and with Chocolatito continuing to come forward, he often 🎯targeted the body with strong left hooks, and punches through the center to split the guard. Israel showed his heart though in the 4th round late to land a significant right hand in combination to make the scoring component of the round intriguing.
Izzy in the 5th decided to take the steam out of his punches and throw multiple combinations to slow the stalker down – a smart fight tactic in my estimation. Chocolatito, always composed and calculated, stuck towards walking his man down, and professionally selecting his shots to fire. By mid-fight, Israel began to tire, so Choco seeing that, he ramped up his motor, something that has to be discouraging for an opponent looking for a periodic breather.
Chocolatito started to the the ring off at a feverish pace, coming forward like the menacing legend of a pressure fighter that we’ve grown accustomed to seeing in his greatest days, a welcoming sight for any fight fan, but certainly not a welcoming sight for the other Gonzalez who was experiencing the rejuvenated effort in live time. As Choco was succeeding in breaking his will, he was looking to also break the body down to take away all options for Israel to bounce to.
The 🛎️10th round was a good one with both Gonzalez’s having standout moments, with Chocolatito’s coming with combinations in bunches, and Israel landing the occasional sharp cross over the top. Israel by this point looked like a man that was without answers, pop-shotting, and resting on the ropes with no movement, shelled up as Chocolatito stepped into his space to rip punches to the body.
The 12th and final round was a barnburner, with both digging down, throwing what they had to give left. Though Israel was respectable with his performance here late, Chocolatito met him head on, and delivered the way only he knows how to deliver down the stretch. The fight went the full distance, and with the judges scoring, Chocolatito emerged victorious to retain his WBA Super-Flyweight Title, making his 1st defense since winning the belt back in Feb of 2020, well done Champ.
Roman will have his eyes glued to the main event to follow, as he is looking to fight the winner between Juan Francisco Estrada and Carlos Cuadras…either way that fight goes, it would be a rematch, as Chocolatito already has victories over both in his eventful career. Let’s hope he fights the winner.