This Saturday night, boxing’s arguable pound for pound king is in action, but there are valid questions he needs to answer if he wants to keep that crown.
This Saturday night, Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez returns to action on HBO PPV. Considered by most boxing analysts to be the pound for pound king in our post-Mayweather era, Chocolatito is here to take on Thailand’s Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. It’s a pretty easy fight for Gonzalez, but also an important one to begin answering some questions.
Here are the key questions to consider for Chocolatito Saturday night:
- How will he bounce back? For the first time in a long time, he fights without long-time trainer Arnulfo Obando in his corner, who passed away in October. Gonzalez is instead now working with new trainer Wilmer Hernandez. Gonzalez says that you won’t see a change – that Hernandez is continuing the work laid out by Obando and Alexis Arguello before him. We shall see.
- Where’s the power? Gonzalez had a 10 fight KO streak broken by McWilliams Arroyo last April and followed that up with a decision win over Carlos Cuadras. The Cuadras fight (and this Saturday’s) came at 115 pounds – that’s 3 divisions up from where he started. Have we just reached a point where Chocolatito can’t bring the power up in weight with him anymore?
- What next? If he wins (and, again, he’s expected to) the obvious fight is a rematch with Cuadras, who is also on this card and also expected to win. Their fight was a dark horse fight of the year contender last year, so there’s no complaints about seeing it again. The other name that always gets tossed around with Gonzalez’s is Japan’s Naoya Inoue, another undefeated world champion at 115 pounds. Many feel Gonzalez made the step up partly to take on Inoue – that’s a fight that has to happen.
- Can he go higher? This won’t get answered Saturday, but should he beat Sor Rungvisai, then Cuadras, then Inoue, he will essentially have cleaned out the division’s true elite. Could yet another step up be in the works at that point? It’s tough to keep going, but this is a special fighter we are talking about.
- Is he still #1? This is the big one – the one that wraps up many of these questions. Now at 115 pounds, without his KO power, bouncing back from tragedy, is this still the best boxer in the world? Again, we may not get a clear-cut answer Saturday night. But we’ll be on our way.
Join us here at Bloody Elbow Saturday night for live fight night coverage of the Golovkin vs. Jacobs PPV featuring Roman Gonzalez. We’ll have coverage all week, and live discussion, play by play, and results Saturday.