PREDICTION: Like everyone else, I’ve been flip-flopping on who takes this one. Unlike others, I haven’t focused as much on Gonzalez’s two brutal wars with Srisaket Sor Rungvisai back in 2017 as I am with Chocolatito’s recent performances AND the wear and tear of a long career consistently fighting high-level competition. The same goes for “El Gallo” Estrada, who’s had his own intense battles over the years with Rungvisai, and particularly in his last bout against Carlos Cuadras who dropped him the third.
With Gonzalez’s pressure, I can’t see any way this doesn’t become a great fight… for however long it lasts. If there’s a weakness to Estrada’s game, a high-paced inside fight is where he can be vulnerable. His defense usually prevents him for taking too many flush shots, but it makes him prone to being outworked as Gonzalez did in their first bout. The Chocolatito from the his last two bouts against Israel Gonzalez and Khalid Yafai still has the motor to have Estrada on his heels for the majority of the contest, which may sway the judges Chocolatito’s way should it go to the scorecards.
The deciding factor here for me is the weight and timing of this rematch. While Gonzalez has found a late career surge, he is still outside of his prime years where hs frenetic pace, footwork and combination punching precision simply broke opponents. A Chocolatito at 80% is far better than most contenders and belthodlers, but is that enough for an P4P fighter like Estrada who’s still in his prime? Estrada is younger and stronger at 114 pounds . The shorter Gonzalez is a bit softer at super flyweight while Estrada is absolutely ripped. When looking for separation, I don’t see a prime Estrada losing to a still formidable but slightly past his best Gonzalez. Expect Gonzalez to start strong with a great pace and Estrada gradually building momentum the middle rounds with deadly counterpunching and footwork to prevent Chocolatito from pinning him on the ropes.
I believe Chocolatito has slowed just enough for Estrada’s counterpunching to hurt him late and lead to a dramatic stoppage in the championship rounds with dead-even scorecards.