"Chocolatito" González shines in front of Canelo by giving a boxing lesson to the Mexican "Rey" Martínez
Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
How wrong were many fans and analysts who Years ago they terminated Román "Chocolatito" González. The legendary fighter from Nicaragua shone brightly on Saturday night by taking on fearless Mexican Julio Cesar “El Rey” Martinez in San Diego.
With Saúl "Canelo" Álvarez as a luxury witness -Martínez is part of his work team under coach Eddy Reynoso- at the Pechanga Arena, "Chocolatito" dominated virtually every round for a unanimous decision with the judges scoring 118-110, 117-111 and 116-112although the decision could have been more open and in fact it was admirable that the Mexican avoided the knockout.
The fight was in super flyweight without a world title in between, although a WBC “diamond” belt was offered.
According to statistics from DAZN, which broadcast the fight in the United States, the Nicaraguan landed 374 of 1,076 punches thrown for 35% effectiveness, while his rival had 182 of 713 (26%) and he never really showed the punch to hurt the man who has been a world champion at four different weights and is now 51-3.
It is worth mentioning that Martínez (18-2) took the fight several weeks ago after his compatriot Juan Francisco “Gallo” Estrada was out of action due to Covid-19. Then, a day before the fight, he failed to make the catchweight of 115 pounds, going as low as 116.4. He agreed to a weight limit for Saturday morning of 125 pounds, and met it by giving 122.8.
Once the fight started and after a first round of study by González, everything went to the side of the Central American fighter, being as always very prolific in blows, but this time with a very high precision when taking advantage of an opponent with limited mobility and that he frequently lowered his hands.
In the fourth round, a greater superiority began to be discovered on the part of "Chocolatito", who was unstoppable with his uppercut and the blow to the body of the Mexican. In round 6, Martinez was rocked hard by the Managua native's barrage of combinations, and a common denominator throughout the fight was that Martinez had a lot of trouble piercing Gonzalez's airtight defense.
After rounds 10 and 11, Martínez looked resigned in his corner, turning to see coach Eddy Reynoso as if looking for a magic recipe.. Stopping the fight would have been justified considering how uneven it was, but the power of the Mexican's fists gave him, in theory, chances of a last-minute victory.
In the end, Martínez closed by giving everything in the ring to complete the route and earn the respect of the audience.
"I'm surprised," González said of Martínez for enduring so much punishment. “I wanted to take him little by little, and my corner told me not to give him any assault. He is very brave, he takes a lot of hits.”
“Chocolatito” had said before that he plans to do a few more fights, but after his great exhibition it is clear that his end is not near, even generating new possibilities. “Whatever comes… as long as they pay well,” he said of what he would like to do in the ring next.
"Everyone knows that the last fight with 'Gallo' (Estrada) I won," said the Nicaraguan. The third battle between them looks like an inevitable and unmissable saucer.
Before the main event, Saúl Álvarez addressed the public from the center of the ring to comment on his upcoming bout against Russia's Dmitry Bivol and issue a warning to Gennady Golovkin.
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