According to reports, WBC flyweight champion Julio Cesar Martinez has been offered the chance to fight boxing legend Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez on March 5 and has said yes.
Gonzalez, who has won titles in four weight classes, was set to renew acquaintances with long time rival Juan Francisco Estrada in San Diego but their rubber match was pulled after the WBA super-flyweight champion tested positive for Covid-19.
As the Mexican seeks to recover Gonzalez is without an opponent and a source with knowledge of the situation has told us that Martinez is willing to step in but, crucially at this stage, the Nicaraguan is still to agree.
Martinez, 26, has won 18 of his 19 starts as a professional with his sole loss coming in his pro debut in October 2015 against Joaquin Cruz over four rounds. That split decision defeat and the no contest verdict against Charlie Edwards in August 2019 are the only blemishes on his record. The Mexican war machine picked up the vacant WBC flyweight title four months later against Cristofer Rosales and hasn’t looked back since. And it had appeared that ‘El Rey’ was heading towards a unification against IBF champion Sunny Edwards but the chance to fight and defeat one of the sport’s all-time greats appears to be too good to turn down.
Fifty-three fight veteran Gonzalez turns 35 this June and is still going strong. His win over Kal Yafai in February 2020 was a masterclass by ‘Chocolatito’ who had been written off in some quarters. His 49th pro win earned him the WBA super-flyweight title which he defended successfully against Israel Gonzalez but lost to Estrada in their 2021 fight of the year contender.
Gonzalez has won the WBC flyweight title previously. September 2014 saw him pick up the green and gold in Japan with a ninth-round win against Akira Yaegashi. He would defend it five times before losing it narrowly to Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in a brutal affair five years ago. It now remains to be seen whether he waits for a new date to face his old foe Estrada, aim for a straightforward fight in the meantime or take on the challenge of the young and ambitious Martinez.