By Dan Ambrose, first uploaded on Boxing News 24.
Trainer Abel Sanchez says former 4 division world champion Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez (46-2, 38 KOs) is too small to be fighting at 115 pounds against fighters as big as Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (44-4-1, 40 KOs).
Gonzalez was knocked out in the 4th round last Saturday night in a rematch against the fighter from Thailand at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. Sanchez believes the difference between the 2 guys was the size and the punching power.
Gonzalez simply lacked the punching power to keep Rungvisai off of him to any extent. With nothing to fear, Rungvisai unloaded on the weaker volume puncher Gonzalez, knocking him down 2 times in round 4 to get the knockout. Rungvisai knocked Gonzalez out with a right hand in the clinical sense, as he was flat on his back, eyes closed and seemingly out cold from the shot.
“I always thought ‘Chocolatito’ was a little too small for that weight,” said trainer Abel Sanchez. “Those guys are coming down from 122, 123 and ‘Chocolatito’ was a 105 pound champion, so his skills only carried him so far,” said Sanchez.
Gonzalez would be better off moving back down to the 105 lb. division if he could, but he’s not going to be able to make that weight at this point in his career. Gonzalez was having problems making weight for the 112lb division, which is why he moved up to 115. But at this weight, he doesn’t possess the power needed for him to compete on an even playing field with guys like Rungvisai. Gonzalez’s physique looks like he could cut a little more fat to get down to 108 if he trained harder and dieted. You could see some fat around Gonzalez’s waist last night. That suggests that he could move down to a lighter weight with the right kind of training.
“Today, he fought a guy that was determined, and he got caught with a good shot,” said Sanchez about Gonzalez. “You know, he’s had a great career. He can come back physically. Mentally, I don’t know if he could go through the rigors again; a hard training camp, to go through all that again. He’s had a great career. He’s a Hall of Famer. I don’t see why he should. I think so,” said Sanchez when asked if fighting in the 115 lb. division was too much for him. That was a great knockout, but he was dangerous. They were going toe-to-toe. Anybody can get caught.”
I think it’s possible that Gonzalez is going to have problems mentally trying to come back from this loss to Rungvisai. He might be able to come back from the loss physically, but the mental part might get to him. Gonzalez did not look like the same fighter before the bell rang in the 1st round. The confidence that he once had was gone. With the 2 back to back punishing fights Gonzalez had in his contests with Carlos Cuadras and Rungvisai, he should have taken at least one tune-up for a confidence booster before he stepped foot back into the ring against Rungvisai. Ideally, he should have been more discerning with his career and moved back down to a weight class that was more fitting for his body size.
The loss to Rungvisai showed that Gonzalez is not a great boxer. He’s not a Floyd Mayweather Jr. level fighter, who can find a way to beat bigger and stronger fighters. Gonzalez has always been a guy that has won his fights by throwing a lot of punches to overwhelm guys in the 105 to 112lb weight classes. But in fighting at 115, Gonzalez needs boxing skills, and he doesn’t possess those skills. I doubt that Gonzalez is going to learn those skills at 30. If he’s going to continue his boxing career, then he needs to move down to the 112 lb. division at the minimum. The best thing would be for Gonzalez to go back down to 105, but he’s probably not going to be able to ever do that again. His metabolism has slowed, and he’s not young any longer.
“You’ve got a guy that was coming down from 125, 123 to make 115,” said Sanchez to Fighthub in talking about Rungvisai. “I think the size is starting to get to ‘Chocolatito’. The size, the fact that they’re a lot bigger than he is, is starting to get to him. I think his skills are good, but his punch is not something that keeps guys off of him. When you get a guy that wants to exchange with you in the center of the ring and somebody lands a big shot, which he did. He hurt him the first time, but the second one, being a warrior that he is, he’s not going to back down, and he got caught with a second big shot. I always thought the size was the difference for him for why he was having such tough fights in there. It was the size difference, from 105 lbs. to 122 lbs. It may not have been hurting him, but those punches take their toll. Those punches eventually where you down. He’s had a great career. I don’t know what he’s going to do next,” said Sanchez.