GONZALEZ WANTS TO FIGHT NIETES FOR THE VACANT WBO SUPERFLYWEIGHT TITLE
By Maloney L. Samaco
Mon, 19 Feb 2018
Former four-division world champion and pound-for-pound king Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez expresses interest in fighting three-division world titlist Donnie Nietes for the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) super flyweight world title, according to statement coming from Vice Mayor Enrique Armas of Managua, Nicaragua. The fight is planned to take place in June and would likely to happen at the Alexis Arguello Sports Center in Managua.
The announcement was made by Armas after his meeting with WBO President Francisco Valcarcel, who had offered Gonzalez a chance to fight for the world superflyweight title which was vacated by Japanese champ Naoya Inoue by moving up to the bantamweight division.
"Roman is definitely planning to fight in April or May," Carlos Blandon, Gonzalez's manager told ESPN, adding that Gonzalez plans to remain at superflyweight, against advices from some fans that he return to the flyweight division. "Roman wants to keep fighting [at junior bantamweight] until he dominates the division and then maybe we will think of an additional title in the following weight division [bantamweight]," Blandon said.
Gonzalez disclosed his intention to remain in the super flyweight division even if he admits that his lack of exposure in the division was a major reason for his two successive defeats to the hard hitting Srisaket Sor Rungvisai last year. "Chocolatito" was the World Boxing Association (WBA) minimumweight and flyweight champion, and the World Boxing Council (WBC) flyweight and super flyweight champion.
If the showdown with Nietes pushes through, it will be Gonzalez's first fight for a WBO world title. A native of the Nicaraguan capital of Managua, Gonzalez has a professional record of 46 wins 2 defeats with 38 wins by knockout.
Gonzalez lost his WBC world superflyweight title, perfect record and pound-for-pound No. 1 status by a very controversial majority decision to Sor Rungvisai on March 18 on the Gennady Golovkin-Daniel Jacobs undercard at Madison Square Garden in New York.
During the rematch, he suffered a savage fourth-round knockout by Sor Rungvisai on Sept. 9 at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, a lopsided defeat that many fans began wondering whether Gonzalez should continue his career or retire.
Nietes had held the WBO minimumweight and lightflyweight titles. He presently wears the International Boxing Federation (IBF) flyweight title belt and has a career record of 40 wins, 1 loss and 4 draws with 22 wins by knockout.
Nietes will defend his IBF title on February 24 against Argentina's Juan Carlos Rebeco in Los Angeles as supporting event of the Superfly 2 card. The fight will be Nietes' initial appearance on HBO, whereas Gonzalez has been featured on the same network many times for the past years.
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The Terence-Crawford and Manny Pacquiao-Mike Alvarado pay-per-view is scheduled in the middle of a very busy boxing calendar that features more interesting fights on free television and one pay-per-view that of Canelo and Golovkin which is the most popular subject in the boxing world at the moment.
Here is the fight schedule:
Anthony Joshua vs. Joseph Parker (Showtime - March 31st)
Jarrett Hurd vs. Erislandy Lara (Showtime - April 7)
Crawford vs. Horn and Pacquiao-Alvarado (PPV - April 14)
Adrien Broner vs. Omar Figueroa (Showtime - April 21)
Gennady Golovkin vs. Canelo Alvarez (PPV - May 5)
Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. TBA (ESPN - May 12)
Keith Thurman vs. TBA and Badou Jack vs. Adonis Stevenson (Showtime - May 19)
Crawford-Horn arguably is the least attractive of all these coming fights even if Crawford is well-known, but only a few believes that Horn has a chance against the former undisputed lightwelterweight champ. Andreas Hale of BoxingScene wrote: "To ask people to cough up their hard earned cash when they are getting better fights for free on Showtime is asking a lot. Top Rank and ESPN are in the unenviable position where they have to push this fight to the moon despite knowing that Crawford hasn’t quite clicked with the mainstream crowd and nobody really cares about Manny Pacquiao anymore."
* * *
Top Rank CEO Bob Arum looked at IBF, IBO, WBA, and WBC middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) as the apparent winner over Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) last September at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The match saw both boxers fought brilliantly, but in the end it was decided as a twelve round split draw. The judges scored it 118-110 for Canelo, 115-113 for Golovkin and 114-114 for the draw.
The rematch is scheduled on May 5th, as part of Cinco De Mayo weekend, with the venue still to be determined. Arum thinks Golovkin easily won at least eight rounds of the first match where the veteran promoter made his own score of 116-112 in favor of the champion.
"I had Golovkin winning eight rounds to four. I thought that Golovkin gave away a round or two in the beginning and may have lost a round or two at the end, but he won everything in the middle and it wasn't even close," Arum was quoted in a Reddit chat. "You have to understand, I've been in boxing for a very long time and people see things differently. Just because I saw the fight one way doesn't mean others couldn't see it some other way. I just think based on how I viewed it, Golovkin won and won quite easily."
The scorecard of 118-110 submitted by judge Adelaide Byrd in favor of Canelo, created a shocking controversy in the boxing world. Because of public uproar, Byrd was suspended for a certain period. But Arum clarified that he doesn't believe in the notion that Byrd's scoring was influenced by bribery.
"Let me say this...I don't believe that there is widespread corruption as far as bribing judges. Can there be instances where they've been bribed? Probably. It is unfair to point out that some women have had ludicrous scorecards and therefore the allegation is that they've been bribed, but that's insane," Arum said. "If they were really bribed, they wouldn't have a scorecard that was so out of line! Think Adelaide Byrd's scorecard with Canelo winning 10 of 12 rounds, which was absurd! The fact that it was so absurd should convince everyone she wasn't bribed."
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.
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