Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, 44-0 with 38 knockouts, is still fighting on an undercard is because he’s only 112 pounds.
He’s considered the co-featured fighter to the headliner, and is ESPN’s best pound for pound fighter!
He will put his WBC title and unbeaten record on the line against another little-known but dangerous flyweight, Puerto Rico’s McWilliams Arroyo (16-2, 14 KOs).
Chocolatito is so good that, like Golovkin, has had trouble finding quality opponents. With that in mind, the pound-for-pound king is looking to move up a weight class soon.
Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin, at the The Forum (HBO, 7 p.m. ET).
In the main event, Golovkin (34-0, 31 KOs), 34, the Kazakhstan native living in Santa Monica, California, will make his 16th title defense — a mandatory one — and seek his 22nd consecutive knockout against massive underdog Dominic Wade (18-0, 12 KOs), 25, of Largo, Maryland.
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He is a man who goes about his business with class and dignity, appreciative of everything he has received as he fought his way out of poverty in Nicaragua to rise to the top of boxing, anointed by virtually everyone as the best in the business after Floyd Mayweather retired in September.
In Nicaragua, of course, he’s a national hero!
The 5-foot, 3-inch knockout machine is from Nicaragua and speaks no English. Yet his notoriety from replacing Floyd Mayweather as the pound-for-pound king, his high knockout rate and his being the Golovkin card’s chief second has gained him more fans in the U.S. than any flyweight has a right to expect.
Gonzalez hails from Managua, and was coached and mentored by one of the greatest Nicaraguan fighters of all time, the late Alexis Arguello. It’s not lost on Gonzalez that The Forum is where Arguello, who died in 2009, won his first world title with a 13th-round knockout of Ruben Olivares 42 years ago.
“To go back to the place where Arguello won his first title is something very elegant, precious and a great honor, and I don’t have words to describe it,” Gonzalez said. “I am one of Arguello’s students, so it means a lot to me.” Arguello is not the only Nicaraguan fighter Gonzalez grew up watching, if not idolizing.
While Chocolatito, who will earn $300,000 Saturday, knows that fighting in the USA is where he will make the most money, and he enjoys fighting here, he’s not ready to leave his beloved Nicaragua any time soon.
“In Nicaragua, I can run the red lights,” he said with a big smile, “Here I can’t do that.”