Don King, on Mike Tyson

"Why would anyone expect him to come out smarter?
He went to prison, not to Princeton."

"To me, boxing is like a ballet, except there's no music
and the dancers hit each other."

Friday, October 30, 2015

Chocolatito — the best boxer you are getting to know after two fights on HBO

Roman Gonzalez will finally become a household name among boxing fans on Saturday night.Nicaraguan brawler Roman Gonzalez, better known as "Chocolatito," is unbeaten in 42 professional bouts and is the WBC and The Ring Flyweight champion. He's just 5-foot-3 and competes in the 112-pound division, yet has somehow managed to viciously end 36 fights by way of knockout.

Until recently, Chocolatito was a relative unknown to anyone other than the most dialed-in boxing fans. That's in no small part because Gonzalez has only fought in the United States on three occasions, and hasn't done so since November 2011.

Because of his weight division, the 27-year-old has also never stepped into the ring in front of an internationally televised pay-per-view audience before he
 defended his two titles at the Forum in Inglewood against former champion Edgar Sosa. The bout was the co-main event of the Gennady Golovkin vs. Willie Monroe, Jr. fight that will be on HBO. 

 Top 10 to better reflect the current state of talent. That process was anything but easy, as we endured an exhaustive process of give-and-take before making our decisions.

Here is the new list:
  1. Roman Gonzalez
  2. Andre Ward
  3. Sergey Kovalev
  4. Gennady Golovkin
  5. Guillermo Rigondeaux
  6. Wladimir Klitschko
  7. Terence Crawford
  8. Manny Pacquiao
  9. Shinsuke Yamanaka
  10. Kell Brook

His placement in the pound-for-pound rankings could not have come at a better time for Gonzalez and HBO.

"The work he does in the gym, along with his discipline and focus makes him dangerous," said Gonzalez's trainer, Jose Arnulfo Obando. "The combos he has makes him very powerful for his size."
Each of Gonzalez's last eight fights have ended in a knockout, and only one lasted beyond the seventh round. That included a third-round knockout of Valentin Leon in Gonzalez's home country the last time he stepped into the ring, on Feb. 28.
Gonzalez and his handlers have floated the possibility of moving up to the 118-pound division if it means bigger fights in front of larger audiences. But they caution that they are being very calculated with every decision they make now that Gonzalez is entering what will ultimately amount to the most important phase of his career.
"This is something we've been looking forward to for a very long time," Obando said. "It's a great opportunity, thanks to HBO, and it's a big deal for us."

On a recent weekday at the gym, Chocolatito remained silent and focused for the duration of what amounted to about a two-hour workout. He jumped rope, hit the heavy bag, the speed bag, and worked on tactics with physio Wilmer Hernandez Cruz.

Gonzalez grew up in a boxing family in a poor part of Managua, Nicaragua. He eventually learned a lot about boxing from iconic Nicaraguan boxer Alexis Arguello, a three-time world champion nicknamed El Flaco Explosivo, or "The Explosive Thin Man." Arguello is the one who gave him his glorious nickname, Chocolatito, which means little chocolate. Gonzalez said he and a group of boys would box every two weeks for the prize of eating food they thought to be extravagant, such as rice or spaghetti.
He then debuted in 2005 and has not yet been beaten.
"I've put so much effort into my training, and I'm now getting recognition," Gonzalez said. "It motivates me to work even harder every day and to demonstrate my quality so that I can get opportunities for big fights.
"And hopefully on May 16, they will see the great champion that I am and they can recognize me much more in the U.S."

Andrew John is The Desert Sun's boxing and tennis reporter. 


1 comment:

TNL said...

OT: Missing Manny Pacquiao's awesome training? Watch Manny Pacquiao speed shadowboxing all day on the official MP Youtube Channel here !