Roman Gonzalez Lost More than a World Title

Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez arrives in the ring of the American Airlines Center today, in Dallas, Texas. Photo: EFE

A large part of the Nicaraguans themselves booed Roman Gonzalez, minutes before the fight started.

By Loanny Picado (Confidencial)

HAVANA TIMES – What we saw Saturday night at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, was perhaps one of the most histrionic and brilliant fights in boxing. Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez and Juan Francisco “Gallo” Estrada provided a top-level show in the ring, in an even fight that was tainted by a controversial outcome.

By split decision, the judges gave the following scores: 115-113, 117-111 for Estrada and 115-113 for Gonzalez. That awarded the unified World Title of the World Boxing Association (WBA) and the World Boxing Council (WBC) in the Super Flyweight category to the Mexican Juan Estrada. Although the specialized press was divided by the decision, another part saw a draw, the fact is that the Nicaraguan boxer lost the world title, and his first loss to the Mexican.

Once again, Roman showed his quality in the ring. His sharp boxing technique, the intelligent way he fought each round. However, his skills were not enough to floor Estrada, who also showed his strength and forcefulness in each blow landed.

It was clear that such a close match would unleash this type of controversial decision. But that should not detract from who won the title. So, in the face of the controversy, the possibility of a third match between these two boxing titans has been left open.

He lost respect and support

Loanny Picado

Something surreal was experienced in Nicaragua and even at the arena in Dallas. A large part of the Nicaraguans themselves booed Roman Gonzalez, minutes before the fight started, while Estrada was cheered by the fans.

German Garcia, editor of the newspaper La Prensa, present at the fight, said that when “Chocolatito” appeared on the scene, “it was incredible to hear the boos, something never seen before.”

While Roman wore the logos of the dictatorship that represses his own compatriots, the “Gallo” Estrada placed on his shoulders the flag of Mexico and Nicaragua, as a sign of solidarity with the country due to the number of messages of support.

Once “El Gallo” was announced as the winner, a massive social media celebration broke out for Gonzalez’s defeat. It was the feeling of the Nicaraguans due to the contempt of a repressive regime that is supported by Gonzalez. For many, it was seeing the defeat of a propagandistic cog of a dictatorship. One, that, in the end, is destined to fall sooner or later.

He destroyed his reputation

Wearing a shirt in which he propagandized Daniel Ortega for his presidential re-election in 2021 and with tears in his eyes, Roman expressed: “God wanted it that way, God is the one who can do anything, I have been anointed by God.”

Within sanity and moral standards, it is undeniable that you cannot worship God and venerate a dictator accused of crimes against humanity simultaneously. Gonzalez’s words are always inconsistent with his actions and this aspect also places him at the center of criticism.

It certainly takes more than a world title to be respected in your own country. Human and ethical values, and empathy towards the suffering of your country must prevail more than veneration towards a political party. When you step into the ring you represent a whole nation and not a dictatorship that punishes a people.

Therefore, when Roman entered the ring to face Juan Estrada he had already lost something much more important than his world title. He destroyed the admiration and the support that a large part of Nicaraguans had for him.

*This article was originally published on the blog: Zona de Penal

Read more from Nicaragua here on Havana Times.