By Anthony “Stacks” Saldaña
Photo by Cynthia “Cindy Lou” Saldaña
RSR Readers let’s go back to November 12th 1982. Boxing fans from around the globe tuned in and a crowd of 23,800 gathered that legendary night at The Orange Bowl in Miami to witness one of the greatest fights in boxing history. The late, great, Nicaraguan Alexis Arguello looked to become a four division world champion when he took on Aaron “The Hawk” Pryor in a fight billed as “Battle of The Champions”. Arguello had won world titles at featherweight, junior lightweight and lightweight was on the verge of boxing history as he and Pryor stood toe to toe giving boxing fans a war that night in Miami. Arguello came into the fight a 12-5 favorite but the fight quickly turned into a brutal back and forth battle. A fight that was labeled “Fight of The Decade” by Ring Magazine. Arguello came up short that night, when in the 14th round Pryor landed a barrage of unanswered punches forcing the referee to stop the fight.
Now fellow countryman, pupil, and dear friend of Arguello, Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, 45-0, 38 KO’s looks to do something Arguello was never able to accomplish, become a four division world champion as he takes on the WBC Super Flyweight Champion Carlos “Principe” Cuadras, 35-0-1, 27 KO’s this Saturday at the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood, California. The consensus #1 pound for pound Fighter in the World and WBC Flyweight World Champion Gonzalez is an all-out warrior who has dominated the lower weight divisions and began making his mark on the boxing scene in 2008 when he won the WBA World Strawweight title with a TKO victory over Yutika Niida at the Pacifico Arena in Yokahama, Japan. Since winning that first title Gonzalez has also captured the WBA Light Flyweight Title and the WBC Flyweight Title. Gonzalez is now in line for his fourth world title in as many weight divisions has spent this training camp in the high elevation of Big Bear, California training alongside Gennady “GGG” Golovkin in preparation for his bout with Cuadras.
I recently had the opportunity to interview Gonzalez in Big Bear and his Manager Carlos Blandon and Gonzalez stated “I loved training in Big Bear for this fight.” Coach Abel and “GGG” were very welcoming, it was very calm there and we were able to work very well in peace. With me training in Big Bear for the first time, I feel that I’m in better shape than I’ve ever been. I want to continue training there in the future. I also asked “Chocolatito” what a victory would mean for him and his country, Gonzalez stated “it’s a truly an honor to fight for a fourth world title, I’m blessed with this opportunity and it’s my motivation.” For Gonzalez this will be his third time fighting at the Forum in his last four fights, the same arena where his mentor Alexis Arguello fought four of his world title bouts including his victory over Bobby Chacon in 1979.
For the tough Mexican and WBC Super Flyweight World Champion Carlos “Principe” Cuadras he will be making his HBO and Southern California debut when he battles Gonzalez. Cuadras became the WBC Super Flyweight World Champion on May 31, 2014 with an eighth round stoppage of Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in Mexico and now looks for his seventh straight defense with a victory over Gonzalez. The Guamuchil, Sinaloa native Cuadras is an underdog coming into his battle with Chocolatito, but don’t look for Cuadras to just go in and lay down. At his recent media workout at the Maywood Boxing Gym, Cuadras talked about being an underdog and stated “It doesn’t bother me.” It’s normal He is a three time world champion. He has had a longer career. In fact, I admire him. When I first met him in Japan he was already fighting for world titles. I was barely fighting 6 and 8 rounders. So I recognize the great career that he has had, but people’s attitude will change on the day that I beat him in the ring. Cuadras will without a doubt be the toughest challenge to date for Gonzalez. A victory for the 28 year old Cuadras will definitely catapult him into the pound for pound rankings.
The Gonzalez Vs Cuadras match-up is a throwback fight and reminds me a lot of the Johnny Tapia Super Flyweight battle with Danny Romero. Fans can expect punches in bunches and two true Latino warriors giving their all in the ring next Saturday in Inglewood at the Forum. This fight is not just about a belt but for tradition, legacy and culture. Gonzalez and Cuadras can be pure boxers or brawlers, ones that move a lot, they’re skilled with fast hands and solid footwork, they’re accurate and tactical, and guaranteed to bring fireworks as the best will battle the best on September 10th in Los Angeles. The Gonzalez Vs Cuadras fight will not only have historical implications on the sport of boxing, but the styles of both Gonzalez and Cuadras is sure to bring fans an instant classic. For boxing fans living in Southern California this fight is one that can’t be missed in person and with tickets reasonably priced for this WBC Championship bout K2 and Teiken Promotions have given fans a great opportunity to watch this “Super Fight” live.
In the Co-main event fans will treated to a rematch between Yoshihiro “El Maestrito” Kamegai, 26-3-2, 23 KO’s as he takes on Jesus “Renuente” Soto Karass, 28-10-4, 18 KO’s from Los Mochis, Sinaloa.
Their first meeting, ended in a split draw and left the crowd in a frenzy at the Belasco Theater in Downtown Los Angeles. At today’s press conference Kamegai stated “I am very grateful to K2 Promotions, Golden Boy Promotions and Teiken Promotions in making this rematch and honored to be on the Roman Gonzalez Vs Carlos Cuadras undercard at the Fabulous Forum,” Jesus Soto Karass and I had a great fight in April. I have a lot of respect for Soto Karass. He is a warrior. I hope to put on another exciting fight with him in front of the great Southern California Boxing Fans.
“I am excited to come back to the ring against such a great warrior like Yoshihiro Kamegai,” said Jesus Soto Karass. We put on a great show in April and I am sure we will deliver another great show in Saturday. We are both great warriors who come forward and are willing to leave it all in the ring. This rematch will serve for one of us to finally emerge victorious, as we give the fans of Los Angeles a fight of a lifetime.”
“If fans thought the first Kamegai and Soto Karass fight was an epic Fight of the Year contender, let me just say this on September 10th, both fighters will be coming back in the ring with a vengeance to prove who is the true winner in this rematch,” said Oscar De La Hoya.
Other Bouts Include:
Ryan Martin, 15-0, 9 KO’s Vs Fermin De Los Santos, 25-15-2, 18 KO’s (8 Rounds) Lightweight for the WBC Continental Championship.
Seniesa “Super Bad” Estrada, 7-0, 1 KO Vs Nancy Franco, 14-9-2, 4 KO’s (8 Round) Flyweight.
Carlos Licona, 7-0, 3 KO’s Vs Gilberto Mendoza, 5-5, 2 KO’s (6 Round) Lightweight.
Chazz Moleta (Debut) Vs Brahmabigi Montgomery, 1-1-1 (4 Round) Lightweight.