Their first fight was surely a riveting one, but somehow they superseded it tonight with a strong display of skills, heart, and guts. With an old fashioned war breaking out, and both boxers hitting the canvas in this contest, Super-Flyweight Champion of the World Juan Francisco Estrada (41-3-0, 28KO) showed exactly why he is on everyone’s Pound-4-Pound list as he met Carlos Cuadras (39-4-1, 27KO) fire with fire against a proud, ready former Titlist to take him out late in the Championship rounds.
The first found, El Gallo immediately came out ripping left hooks, and Cuadras looked to land early, looking more like round 13 between the two as opposed to a round 1. Cuadras was doing a good job in the opening stanza pressing forward, and looping some shots around the high guard of the Champion. El Gallo looked to settle in midround in the counterpunchers role, perhaps viewing the openings Cuadras presented to him early, noting his lack of defense.
Estrada’s check-hook started to slow Cuadras aggression, making him second-guess charging in with reckless abandon. Cuadras adapted and looked to box a little more, giving the Champion something extra to mull over, but Estrada being as 🧠cerebral as he is, adapted with him to land some accurate combinations to the head. It was apparent by the 3rd round that the check-hook was the money punch for Gallo, making Cuadras pay every time he committed to an offensive attack.
In the last minute of the round, Cuadras finally found home and landed a right uppercut, then a 💥big left hook to put Estrada down to the mat by the turnbuckle. Estrada got up, and Cuadras looked to inflict more damage before the end of the round, but Estrada held his own in those exchanges, and got out of the round. The 4th round, Estrada came out with more vigor after understanding that Cuadras would do the same to try and capitalize on his big moment a round prior.
A beautiful sidestep, and short uppercut in the inside Cuadras landed upstairs that somewhat stunned the Champion, and he let the power shots fly. Estrada being a cagey veteran was able to evade the next big punch, and worked his way back into the round by landing a big bomb upstairs late as each went toe to toe in a feverish pace to culminate the round.
Estrada wobbled Cuadras early with a beautiful short compact right hand to establish the tone of the 5th round. Cuadras though gathered himself and continued to push forward. The spirit within their blood began to surface to the forefront, as an all-out Mexican war broke out, shades of the legendary wars of Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera.
The gap between both closed, as they fought in closed quarters, and Estrada capitalized by landing a scintillating left hook to the body, hurting the former Champion. They continued to fight toe to toe, when Estrada ripped him with a nasty uppercut. Both the 5th and the 6th round in my estimation were clearly entries to be instilled into round of the year consideration, but surely, the action did not stop there.
In between rounds, Cuadras corner angrily implored him to stand his ground, exert his will and trade punches with the smaller Estrada. As round 7 started, you could see Cuadras looking to bull his way in, heeding to his cornerman’s advice. Estrada had the right idea with some of the counterpunches he fired out there here, but just barely missed with a few that could’ve been the big money punch to put Cuadras down, or out. Carlos Cuadras throughout it all continued to work, and there was some slight evidence of him managing to cause some swelling with both of Estrada’s eyes.
Round 8, Cuadras productivity 📈improved in terms of his technical sharpness, landing nice shots to the body with both hands, and Estrada looked to be a step slow for the round. Estrada did however rip an overhand right to stun Cuadras, and later on touching the ribs with a powerful left hook that forced Cuadras to drop his guard with the right hand to protect against the spot that Estrada drilled heavily.
Round 9, Estrada had arguably his best round, as he put forth a surgical performance, continuing to work the body, and ripping the left hook, as well as the uppercut upstairs as the finish punch to his combination sequences. Cuadras was hurt, but still remained brave, keeping himself in the fight by being able to land select popshots with some mustard behind them.
Round 10, Cuadras came out with a burst of energy and threw multiple 3-4 punch combinations, landing the majority of the shots, mixing it up to the body, and to the head. Estrada by this point stopped circling around and became the aggressor, fighting on his front foot. A good left hook by Estrada opened a cut over Estrada’s left eye, and Estrada managed to do the same with a bigger left hook to Cuadras right eye.
Round 11, Estrada went to a completely different level, and landed a blistering 💥big left hook that slowly crumbled Cuadras down to the mat. He beat the count, but he did not look good at all on his legs. Estrada charged in like an assassin and picked apart his wounded prey, landing a ⚡thunderous right hand that all but knocked Cuadras senses away from him, and he went down with a delayed reaction.
He struggled to get to his feet, and the Referee gave him a close lookover before allowing the fight to continue. Estrada kept the foot on the gas pedal until Cuadras no longer had anything left to deliver, as the Referee stepped in to stop the fight late in the 11th, awarding Estrada the victory.
Carlos Cuadras went out with his heart on his 🛡️shield – a true warrior indeed. As for the victor, this fight is proof that Estrada is more than just a superior technical boxer, but that he is as tough as they come, as he fought toe to toe with an opponent that gave him all he had to offer. A beautiful performance by El Gallo, he goes on to defend his RING and WBC Super-Flyweight World Titles for the second time. With this under his belt, he can now look at a rematch with legend ♛Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez for a coveted unification title match. As fight viewers, we would all welcome that with open arms after what we had just seen tonight from both.