By: Sean Crose
The World Boxing Council has decreed that Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez and Juan Francisco Estrada shall meet in the ring for a third time. The first bout between the two, a 2012 war, ended with Gonzalez winning on the cards. The rematch, which went down a few weeks ago, went the other way, with Estrada getting the judges’ nod. With many people being unhappy with that decision, however, the WBC has decided the two men must fight once more for Estrada’s WBC World Super Flyweight Title. Although a third fight between the two men is nothing but good news to the fans, it could have been quite hard on one Srisaket Sor Rungivsai. That’s “could have been.”
For the sensational Thai fighter recently retired Ekkawit Songnui believing he would be facing the winner of Gonzalez-Estrada 2. Boxing being boxing, however, Sor Rungvisai is now set to face Carlos Cuadras with the understanding that the winner of that bout will face the winner of Gonzalez-Estrada 3. The interesting thing about all this is that all of these fighters have faced off at least once. Sor Rungvisai has beaten Gonzalez twice (the first time controversially) and has gone one and one with Estrada. Cuadras has lost to Estrada twice, Gonzalez once, and has bested Sor Rungvisai. To state Super Flyweight is an intriguing division is to put things mildly. It may well be the most exciting division in the sport right now.
The WBC is calling this a “Franchise Tournament.” According to the organization, “WBC Super Flyweight World Champion Juan Francisco Estrada has requested to be designated Franchise Boxer of the division.” The WBC also states that “the division’s Mandatory Challenger Srisaket Sor Rungvisai has requested to fight for the WBC World Title in light of the fact that he stepped aside, to allow the Estrada vs Gonzalez recent rematch.” The WBC has decided, then, to make Estrada “Franchise Champion” while allowing Sor Rungvisai to fight for the its “World Title” against Cuadras. In other words, Sor Rungvisai is still given a crack at the World Title, plus has the chance to face the winner of Gonzalez-Estrada 3 for the Franchise Championship, should he best Cuadras. It may not be an ideal situation, but everyone gets a chance to win something.
The WBC states that “the Super Fly Tournament concept created by renowned promoter Tom Loeffler has produced great fights involving the four fighters.” In truth, there’s little doubt these are two matches well worth looking forward to.