Eddie Hearn wants Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez to remain fighting in the 115-lb weight class rather than going up to 118 to challenge world champions Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue and Nonito Donaire following his victory over Julio Cesar Martinez last Saturday night.
Gonzalez beat Martinez by a lopsided 12 round unanimous decision Saturday night on DAZN at the Pechanga Arena in San Diego, California. The scores: 116-112, 117-110, and 118-110.
Hearn feels that Chocolatito (51-3, 41 KOs) will get beaten if he goes up to bantamweight to take on the big punchers Donaire and Inoue, and he doesn’t want to see that happen.
“Yeah, he looked so good tonight. I don’t know if he wants to go up to 118,” Hearn said to Fino Boxing about Chocolatito. “I don’t want to see him get beat just to go up to 118.
“The Estrada fight is there [at super flyweight], as I said, and Jesse Rodriguez. Let him enjoy the victory tonight,” said Hearn.
If the idea is for Chocolatito to cash out at 118, going up in weight to bantamweight to face ‘Monster’ Naoya Inoue or Nonito Donaire is an excellent idea. Chocolatito will make more money fighting Inoue or Donaire than he will Estrada or Jesse Rodriguez.
“I think the [Juan Francisco] Estrada trilogy is a good fight, and also the fight against Jesse Rodriguez is a great fight,” Hearn said on who he’d like to see Chocolatito fight next.
“I think Jesse Rodriguez may beat everybody, he’s a tremendous fighter, but Chocolatito was incredible. It was probably one of the best performances I’ve seen from him tonight,” Hearn said.
Hearn shouldn’t get ahead of himself with his praise of newly crowned WBC super flyweight champion Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez. Before the last Saturday night, Hearn was singing the praises of Julio Cesar Martinez, believing he could beat Roman Gonzalez, and look what happened.
This writer sees the same thing happening with Bam Rodriguez when he gets in with the killers Juan Francisco Estrada, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, and Chocolatito at 1150.
While Bam Rodriguez (15-0, 10 KOs) looked good against the washed-up 33-year-old Carlos Cuadras last month on February 5th, it wasn’t the type of performance that suggests that he’ll beat Juan Francisco Estrada, Chocolatito, or Sriskaet Sor Rungvisai.
Jesse Rodriguez showed very little power against Cuadras and was forced to get on his bike and box after getting hit with repeated uppercuts in the sixth. In the entire second half of the contest, Bam Rodriguez hit and ran.
It was purely defensive stuff and not exciting to watch. When you compare Bam’s performance against Cuadras to what we saw last Saturday night from Chocolatito, there’s no comparison. Chocolatito is a much better fighter and, of course, far more entertaining.
If Hearn goes ahead with his plans of matching Bam Rodriguez against Srisket Sor Rungvisai next, he’ll lose that fight. Rungvisai is too big, too strong, and too experienced for the light-hitting 22-year-old Bam Rodriguez.
Chocolatito started his career at light flyweight  and didn’t have the natural size that Donaire & Inoue have going for them.
Still, with Chocolatito’s talent and high volume work rate, he could give those two champions something to think about if they’re unable to stop him.
Against Rey Martinez last Saturday night, Chocolatito threw over 1000+ punches and did a lot of damage to the 27-year-old fighter. Although Chocolatito didn’t score a knockout, Martinez was looking on the verge of being stopped in the 11th and 12th.
Martinez’s coach Eddy Reynoso arguably should have thrown the towel in the save him from taking unnecessary punishment at the hands of Chocolatito in the final two rounds, as he had no chance of winning at that point. Martinez was taking a beating from Chocolatito.