After 36 rounds, we still don't know who the better fighter is.
Juan Francisco Estrada (44-3) hung onto an early lead despite a late surge from Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez (51-4) to take a narrow majority decision in the rubber match of their trilogy and claim the WBC super flyweight championship at Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Ariz., on Saturday night .
It didn't reach the ridiculous highs of more than 2,500 punches thrown in their previous fight, but it was entertaining as the two engaged in an excellent bout.
It didn't start off that way, though, as Estrada routinely beat Chocolatito to the punch early. It appeared that the 35-year-old Gonzalez was aging before our eyes; he seemed to be a step slower and a punch behind as his pressure wasn't enough to prevent Estrada from picking him off with counterpunches and sink hooks to the body. Chocolatito's corner urged the living legend to get back to his old ways. It took a little longer than expected.
After showing some life at the end of the fifth round, the old Chocolatito returned. The Nicaraguan closed the gap and launched punches in bunches to make this a true fight of two halves.
Estrada saw the fight getting away from him as Gonzalez launched his comeback. For many onlookers, it seemed that the fight was hanging in the balance as they entered the final round. But Estrada dug deep and fought a brilliant three minutes as the fighters excited the crowd. Estrada's pinpoint accuracy and body shots appeared to close the show strong.
Estrada is now 2-1 against his rival, but with yet another entertaining fight in the books, there could be a fourth fight in their future.
Who would complain about that?
The Sporting News provided live updates and results from the Juan Francisco Estrada vs. Roman Gonzalez card. Here's how it all went down.
Juan Francisco Estrada vs. Roman Gonzalez 3 live results, updates
Juan Francisco Estrada hangs on to take decision over Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez
Result (12:01 a.m.): Chocolatito's late rally isn't enough. Estrada claims the vacant WBC super flyweight title with a majority decision. Scores were 114-114, 116-112 and 115-113.
Round 12: Chocolatito moving forward but Estrada is sitting down on his responses. Big combination by Chocolatito as Estrada moves back to the center of the ring and lands a pair of body shots. Back and forth but it feels like Chocolatito's punches are the harder shots. Uppercut from Estrada but Chocolatito battles bad. More body shots by Estrada as Chocolatito seems to slow down. Estrada is finishing strong and flanding big shots. What a final round!
SN Unofficial Scorecard: 10-9 Estrada (115-113 Estrada)
Round 11: Did the judges give Chocolatito any of the first six rounds? If not, the best he can do is muster a draw. Chocolatito launches another barrage of punches but Estrada defends just about all of them before bouncing back with a combination of his own. Nice uppercut by Estrada but Chocolatito is not giving up space. Estrada rips a combination but continues to back up. Estrada lands a flurry of punches as the round comes to a close. Maybe not enough as we head to the final round.
SN Unofficial Scorecard: 10-9 Gonzalez (105-104 Estrada)
Round 10: Chocolatito goes back to work but Estrada lands a blistering body head combination. They battle along the ropes with both having their moments. Chocolatito with a pair of combination and then moves Estrada into the ropes with a volley of punches. Estrada continues to try and fight Chocolatito off but can't seem to get room to breathe and operate at any kind of distance. Estrada is slowing down and Chocolatito is sensing it as he rallies with more pressure and power shots.
SN Unofficial Scorecard: 10-9 Gonzalez (96-94 Estrada)
Round 9: Chocolatito backs Estrada up and lands some body shots but Estrada rallies with a combination and works in some body punches. Chocolatito responds with a shot left hook. This is looking like the fight we expected. Estrada wraps a hard hook around Chocolatito's gloves. Big five punch combination from Chocolatito. Hard body shot from Chocolatito. He's taking over.
SN Unofficial Scorecard: 10-9 Gonzalez (87-84 Estrada)
Round 8: Hard right hand lands for Estrada behind the jab and he goes back to the body. Chocolatito advances and fires with a right hand getting through. More combinations by Chocolatito with the right hand bouncing off of Estrada's head. Three punch combination from Chocolatito. He's waking up. An uppercut and a hook follow for Chocolatito. Estrada is fighting to get space but Chocolatito is smothering. Big uppercut from Chocolatito. Left hook thuds for Chocolatito. This is his best round by far.
SN Unofficial Scorecard: 10-9 Gonzalez (78-74 Estrada)
Round 7: A much slower round as Chocolatito continues to try to apply pressure. Estrada hasn't done much and could be giving away the round. Hook to the body and over the top from Estrada and Chocolatito responds with a right hand. Chocolatito throws a seven-punch combination but Estrada blocks and exits. Another barrage from Chocolatito and a few punches sneak through. A very close round and one that Chocolatito squeezes out.
SN Unofficial Scorecard: 10-9 Gonzalez (69-64 Estrada)
Round 6: Chocolatito's corner is begging him to wake up before the start of the round. He tries to press but is a step too slow. Estrada sits down and rips a three punch combination. Chocolatito gets Estrada to back up to the ropes but can't find a home for his punches. Chocolatito lands a right hand but Estrada responds. Estrada is outclassing Choclatito. This is a surprising shutout.
SN Unofficial Scorecard: 10-9 Estrada (60-54 Estrada)
Round 5: Chocolatito pushing forward but just can't seem to find a home for his power shots. Estrada continues to mix up his punch placement to the head and body. It feels like we are watching Chocolatito get old right in front of us. The pressure isn't as relentless but it's still present. Estrada scrapes him with an combination and is now sitting down on his punches. Big right hand by Chocolatito lands but Estrada is unfazed.
SN Unofficial Scorecard: 10-9 Estrada (50-45 Estrada)
Round 4: Chocolatito rushes in and gets clipped with a pair of punches but responds with a right hand. Chocolatito applying more pressure but Estrada digs to the body with a couple of hooks. Estrada's accuracy is giving Chocolatito problems. Chocolatito lands a short right hand but Estrada goes to the body again with success. They mix it up and Chocolatito bounces power shots off of Estrada. Chocolatito is in the center of the ring but Estrada is landing with alarming frequency and crashes a huge right hand off of his opponent's head at the end of the round. Something needs to change for Chocolatito.
SN Unofficial Scorecard: 10-9 Estrada (40-36 Estrada)
Round 3: The slow start from Chocolatito is alarming and his corner tells him to pick it up. He's pressing forward and trying to get started but Estrada continues to pick him off, force him to take a step back and move back to the center of the right. Right hand lands and Chocolatito responds with body shots. Short right lands by Estrada. Chocolatito gets Estrada to the ropes and throws but Estrada circles off. They clash heads and the action is stopped briefly. We pick back up and Estrada wraps a hook around Chocolatito's gloves and boxes beautifully moving backward. Chocolatito has a sense of urgency but he's now down three rounds on my scorecard.
SN Unofficial Scorecard: 10-9 Estrada (30-27 Estrada)
Round 2: Estrada opening up more to start the right and lands a right hand over the top. Estrada working the body with the hook and Chocolatito has yet to get into a rhythm. Uppercut by Estrada lands. Chocolatito lands a jab and a hook but Estrada is just outworking him through the first half of the round. Another slow paced round with Estrada doing the better work.
SN Unofficial Scorecard: 10-9 Estrada (20-18 Estrada)
Round 1: Both look to control the center of the ring. Although they've already fought twice they are feeling each other out with Estrada's jab keeping Chocolatito from advancing. A lot more boxing than expected with not a lot of action but Estrada's advances and jab take the round.
SN Unofficial Scorecard: 10-9 Estrada
10:42 p.m.: The main event is up next. It's the trilogy we actually asked for as Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez challenges Juan Francisco Estrada for the WBC super flyweight championship. The last fight was an absolute war that many thought Chocolatito pulled off but the judges saw it in favor of Estrada. Who will win the rubber match?
Julio Cesar Martinez escapes with a decision after an injury-compromised Samuel Carmona
Result (10-38 p.m.): Martinez escaped with a majority decision, with scores of 114-114, 117-111 and 116-112. But the reality is that he benefitted from Carmona's injury and beat a one-handed man down the stretch. Nevertheless, he's still the WBC flyweight champion. It's certain that he'll look back at this performance and see a lot that he'll need to fix. For now, he's gets the victory and Carmona will have difficulty sleeping with the knowledge that an injury ruined his chance at pulling off a major upset.
10:23 p.m.: This is truly unfortunate for Carmona. It's clear that he's hurt his right hand and is no longer engaging Martinez. A fast start now appears to have dissolved with Carmona doing little more than occasionally throwing a jab and circling away. Has he done enough early on to withstand giving these rounds away?
10:12 p.m.: As we head into the eighth round it appears that the pendulum has swung in favor of Martinez. The champion has cranked up the pressure and forcing Carmona to fight off of his backfoot. It also appears that Carmona has hurt his right hand and hasn't thrown many punches in the seventh round. If he is compromised, he'll have to figure something out because it's already a challenge facing Martinez with two good hands. If he only has one? He's in deep trouble.
10 p.m.: Through four rounds it appears that Carmona isn't overwhelmed by the moment and has shown poise against Martinez. He's not allowing Martinez to pressure him by using his jab and movement. There's no clear advantage for either fighter but Carmona will certainly make things interesting despite being the underdog.
9:39 p.m.: The co-main event is up next as WBC flyweight champion Julio Cesar Martinez (18-2) is back in action for the first time since dropping a decision to Chocolatito in March. He's up against the undefeated Samuel Carmona (7-0), who steps in for McWilliams Arroyo after the interim titleholder had to pull out due to injury. We're about to find out just how good Carmona is and whether Martinez can bounce back after a tough loss.
Diego Pacheco collects 14th stoppage with second-round TKO against Adrian Luna
Result (9:28): Diego Pacheco def. Adrian Luna via second-round TKO. Time of stoppage was 2:08.
9:22 p.m.: It may be time to hitch yourself to the Pacheco bandwagon before it's too late. He continues to show maturity by picking his spots and not wasting energy and the result was a two-round drubbing of Luna. Pacheco dropped Luna three times in the second round and the 21-year-old sealed the deal with his 14th knockout of his young career. Watch out.
9:10 p.m.: Up next is hard-hitting Diego Pacheco as he aims to keep his unbeaten streak alive against Adrian Luna in super middleweight action. Pacheco is 16-0 with 13 KOs and has stopped his last five opponents. He stands 6-4 with a 79-inch reach and has showcased impressive power. He's certainly regarded as the future of the 168-pound division.
Cristofer Rosales turns back prospect Joselito Velasquez with decision victory
Result (9:05 p.m.): Rosales' strong second half and experience in these moments secured the victory. He won a unanimous decision with three scores of 97-93. Sometimes, the prospect gets tested and cannot seem to pass. That's what happened here as a strong opening wasn't sustainable for Velasquez and he'll be sent back to the drawing board. Meanwhile, Rosales will find himself in another big fight sooner than later.
8:52 p.m.: The fight is taking a turn as we head into the final two rounds as Rosales is beginning to wear the young Velasquez down with constant pressure and an uppercut that seemingly can't miss. A strong finish may be enough to hand Velasquez his first loss but we have six minutes of action left to decide it all.
8:30 p.m.: We're kicking things off with flyweight action as Cristofer Rosales and Joselito Velasquez are duking it out in a fight scheduled for ten rounds. Through three rounds these two are fighting at a high pace with the former title challenger Rosales looking to fend off the undefeated rising prospect in Velasquez.
When is Juan Francisco Estrada and Roman Gonzalez 3?
- Date: Saturday, Dec. 3 | Sunday, Dec. 4 in U.K. & Australia
- Main card: 8 p.m. ET | 1 a.m. GMT | Noon AEDT
- Main event: 10:15 p.m. ET | 3:15 a.m. GMT | 2:15 p.m. AEDT (approximate)
Estrada vs. Gonzalez 3 takes place on Dec. 3. The main card will begin at 8 p.m. ET (1 a.m. GMT, noon AEDT). Both fighters should make their way to the ring around 10:15 p.m. ET (3:15 a.m. GMT, 2:15 p.m. AEDT), depending on how long the undercard fights last.
How to watch Juan Francisco Estrada vs. Roman Gonzalez 3
|Channel + Live Stream (main card)
|Sat. Dec 3
|Sat. Dec 3
|Sun. Dec 4
|Sun. Dec 4
The main card of Juan Francisco Estrada vs. Roman Gonzalez 3 will air exclusively on DAZN in the U.S. and U.K.
In Australia, you can watch the fight via DAZN and Kayo.
Juan Francisco Estrada vs. Roman Gonzalez 3 price: How much does the card cost?
- DAZN monthly subscription: $19.99, $24.99 in Canada, £7.99 in the U.K., 13.99 AUD
- DAZN annual subscription: $149.99, $199.99 in Canada
To watch Estrada vs. Gonzalez 3, you can either pay for a DAZN monthly subscription ($19.99) or an annual subscription ($149.99). In Canada, a DAZN monthly subscription is $24.99, while an annual subscription is $199.99.
In Australia, it costs 13.99 AUD a month. It costs £7.99 for a monthly subscription in the U.K.
Juan Francisco Estrada vs. Roman Gonzalez 3 fight card
- Juan Francisco Estrada def. Roman Gonzalez via majority decision for The Ring and WBC super flyweight titles (114-114, 115-113 & 116-112).
- Julio Cesar Martinez def. Samuel Carmona via majority decision to retain the WBC super flyweight title (114-114, 117-111, 116-112).
- Diego Pacheco def. Ricardo Adrian Luna via 2nd-round TKO (2:08).
- Cristofer Rosales def. Joselito Velazquez via unanimous decision (97-93. 97-93, 97-93).