Monday, September 25, 2017

On This Day: Remembering Nipper Pat Daly

By Peter Silkov

Nipper Pat Daly was one of Britain’s greatest ever prodigy, after beginning his boxing career when he was just ten years old. He only fought for 7 years, but in that time, became a sensation in London. At the age of just 16, he was rated in the world's top-ten by “The Ring” magazine, yet by the time he was 18, he had retired, burnt out while still a teenager.

Born ,Patrick Clifford Daley, on February 17, 1913, in Abercrave, Wales, Daley moved with his family to London when he was 5 years old, and he started training at the gym of ‘Professor’ Andrew Newton. Daly showed such an extraordinary talent for boxing, and developed so quickly, that Newton had him turn professional one month before his 10th birthday.

Daly soon became a sensation with the fans. He had superlative boxing skills, a sharp, and lightning fast left. and could box on the outside while also being adept at infighting. As he went through opposition at an astonishing rate he was soon being matched in 15 rounders against championship level fighters.

Beginning his career at flyweight, Daly was soon moving up in weight, and his battles with the scales would prove to he part of his undoing.

During his career, Daly fought fighters such as Johnny Summers, Tommy Brown, Young Siki, Dod Oldfield, George Garrard, Arthur Boddington, Nicolas Petit-Biquet, Arthur Young Adkins, Packy Mcfarland, Dick Corbett, Kid Socks, Alf Kid Pattenden. Billy Cain, Karl Schulze, Johnny Edmunds, Auguste Gyde, Seaman Tommy Watson, and Nobby Baker.

Daly was so good that there were calls for him to fight for the British title, yet the BBBC had strict rules about anyone under 21 being able to fight for a British championship.

At the age of 16, Daly, by now fighting as a featherweight, was offered a world title fight against Battle Battalino, but Newton would not allow him to go to America, possibly for fear that he would lose him to some powerful American promoters.

Photo: London Ex-Boxers Association
On April 20, 1833, Daly fought Seaman Tommy Watson, and weakened by weight-making was stopped in the 11th round, after leading the fight early on. Daly suffered a severe concussion, and although he continue boxing for a while, under a different promoter, Daly decided to retire.

Nipper Pat Daly had his last professional fight on a January 27, against Harry Jenkins, who he beat on a 4th round stoppage. Daly retired with a final record of (99-11-8, 26Koes).

Nipper Pat Daly had his last professional fight on a January 27, against Harry Jenkins, who he beat on a 4th round stoppage. Daly retired with a final record of (99-11-8, 26Koes).

In his later years, Daly owned his own gym, trained amateurs and some professionals boxers, and ran an Irish dance hall. He died on September 25, 1988, aged 75.

Photo: London Ex-boxers Association: (Nipper Daly, unknown boxer, Arthur Norton)

Follow us on Twitter: @TheBoxingGlove and  

If you are an boxer, amateur or professional, and want us to follow you or tell your story, contact   or

If you are an author and you would like your book reviewed, contact Peter Silkov at or

Saturday, September 23, 2017

On This Day: Remembering George "Kid" Socks

By Peter Silkov

Kid Socks was a very tough and game fighter who fought from flyweight to featherweight, in a busy career that spanned the years 1922 to 1934. A look at Socks' career reveals how much boxing has changed. Socks fought at a time when fighters were plentiful, and in order to get anywhere close to the top, you had to be bus,y and be willing to fight the best. In his 12-year career, Socks had 210 recorded fights, against many of the top fighters of his day.

Kid Socks was born George Joseph Stockings on August 14, 1904, Bethnal Green, London, and began his boxing career in August 1922, at the age of 18. Like so many fighters of that time, Socks was thrown into the deep end from the start, fighting 10 round matches from the beginning, and his first 15 round match in just his 10th professional contest. Socks tough apprenticeship is shown by the fact that he went a modest 5-8-1 in his first 14 contests, but Socks was already displaying the heart and durability for which he would become known. All of his 8 defeats came via points. In fact, out of his 78 career defeats, only 4 would come inside the distance, and only one of those stoppages was via a clean knockout (and that came at the fists of the great Bantamweight world champion Panama Al Brown.) As his career progressed, Socks became a crowd favourite, and gained the reputation as one of the toughest of ring warriors, and able to give any of the top fighters a run for their money

Socks fought a long list of top names, including Len Harvey, Teddy Baldock, Ernie Jarvis, Elky Clark, Charly Sauvage, Panama Al Brown, Emile Pladner, Alf Kid Pattenden, Nel Tarleton, Johnny Brown, George ‘Kid’ Nicholson, Charley Van Reedon, Dick Corbett, Nipper Pat Daley, Packey Mcfarland, Cuthbert Taylor, Phineas John, Spider Jim Kelly, Victor ‘Young’ Perez, and George Marsden.

Kid Socks fought twice for major titles. On April 19, 1926, he fought Elky Clark at the National Sporting Club, London, for the British, Commonwealth, and European Flyweight titles, and was stopped on a TKO in the 20th and final round.
Two years later on July 7, 1928, Socks travelled to Melbourne, Australia, and challenged ‘Young’ Billy McAllister, for the vacant Commonwealth Bantamweight title, losing on points after 15 rounds.

Socks' Career came to an end after a 12 rounds point's defeat to Jim Anderson on June 11, 1934. His final recorded record reads (106-78-26, 23koes) though like many fighters of his time it is likely he had additional contests which slipped through the records. George Stockings died on September 24, 1972, aged 68. 

Follow us on Twitter: @TheBoxingGlove and  

If you are an athlete and want us to follow you or tell your story, contact   or

If you are an author and you would like your book reviewed, contact Peter Silkov at or

On This Day: Elky Clark Remembered

By Peter

Elky Clark was a tough and game fighter, who achieved a lot in his comparatively short, whirlwind career.

Born William Clark, on January 4, 1898, in Bridgeton, Scotland. Clark worked as a riveter, and also earned money playing the accordion.

He began fighting as a professional in 1921, and was put into the deep end right from the start, with his first professional fight being scheduled for 15 rounds. Clark lost his debut on a 3rd round knockout to Alec Boyes, but would fight Boyes again 3 times in succession, drawing once, and winning twice on points over 10 rounds. Clark would compile a record of 5-7-5 in his first 19 contests, but this was a time when a loss was just part of the learning curve for a boxer, and Clark was learning his trade and honing his busy style of fighting.

On May 15, 1923, Clark challenged Willie Woods for the Scottish area Flyweight title, but was beaten on points over 20 rounds.

Six months later, Clark challenged Harry McConnell for the Scottish Area Bantamweight title, and won on a 13th round retirement.

On March 31, 1924, Clark stopped Kid Kelly in 20 rounds to win the vacant British flyweight title. Six months later, Clark added the Commonwealth Flyweight title title to his collection, with a 10th round stoppage of Jim Hanna.

Clark was out-pointed over 20 rounds by Michel Montreuil, for the European flyweight title on November 21, but in a rematch two months later, Clark emerged the winner, and new European champion, after out-pointing Montreuil over 20 stanzas.

Elky retained his titles through a number of defences over the next few years, then on January 21, he travelled to America to meet American Flyweight champion, Fidel Labarba, in a fight that was billed as the vacant world flyweight championship. The fight was a disaster for Clark. He injured his eye, and was beaten badly, being floored 5 times, with only his courage helping him last the 12 rounds distance, to lose on points.

This was Clark’s final fight, as his eye injury was too severe to allow him to continue his career. Elky Clark’s final record was (30-12-5, 20koes).

Follow us on Twitter: @TheBoxingGlove and  

If you are an athlete and want us to follow you or tell your story, contact   or

If you are an author and you would like your book reviewed, contact Peter Silkov at or

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

On This Day: Harry Woodson Remembered

By Peter Silkov

Harry Woodson (known as The Black Diamond) was a tough and hard hitting fighter, standing just 5' feet 7,” but powerfully built. He weighed between 165 and 180 pounds and often gave away weight fighting heavyweights.

Born on January 1, 1958, in Cincinnati, Ohio, Woodson had his first recorded professional fight in December 1882, and fought for the next five years.

Due to his colour and the racial climate of the times, Woodson mostly fought against other coloured fighters. He fought the very useful ‘Professor’ Charles Hadley several times.

With the money he made from his boxing Woodson opened his own gym, but his life was brought to a premature end on September 20, 1887, when he was shot dead by a rival, after an argument over a woman. Woodson was 29 years old.

Harry Woodson’s verified record was (11-6-3, 6koes), but he most likely, had many other fights. 

Follow us on Twitter: @TheBoxingGlove and  

If you are an athlete and want us to follow you or tell your story, contact   or

If you are an author and you would like your book reviewed, contact Peter Silkov at or


Saturday, September 16, 2017

On This Day: Marvin Hart Remembered

By Peter Silkov

Marvin Hart ‘The Fighting Kentuckian’ is perhaps the heavyweight division's most underrated champion, a man who came to boxing late in life (23) and still managed to get to the top of the heavyweight division. Hart was born on September 16, 1876, in Fern Creek, Kentucky. Hart began his boxing career in 1899, aged 23, and during his career fought top men such as Tommy West, Dan Creedon, Kid Carter, Jack Root, Philadelphia Jack O’Brien, Jack Bonner, George Gardner, Joe Choynski, Gus Ruhlin, Jack Johnson, Tommy Burns, Peter Maher, Jack Twin Sullivan, and Mike Schreck.

Hart's best result was his controversial 20 rounds point's victory over Jack Johnson, on March 28, 1905.

When Jim Jeffries announced his retirement from the ring as undefeated champion, he selected Hart and Jack Root, to fight for the vacant World heavyweight title. The fight took place on July 3, 1905, and Hart won on a 12th round knockout.

In his first defence of his world title on February 23, 1906, Hart faced Tommy Burns, and was out-pointed over 20 rounds, losing his title in the process.

Hart continued to fight until 1910, retiring after being stopped by Carl Morris in 3 rounds, on December 20, 1910, Marvin Hart’s final record reads (28-7-4, 20koes).

After retirement, Hart would spend the rest of his life on his farm in Barnstown Pike. He spent his days raising chickens, farming, and being a referee. He also operated a tavern in Louisville, Kentucky. Suffering from an enlarged liver and high blood pressure, Marvin Hart died on September 17, 1931, at the age of 55 years old. 

Follow us on Twitter: @TheBoxingGlove and  

If you are an athlete and want us to follow you or tell your story, contact   or

If you are an author and you would like your book reviewed, contact Peter Silkov at or

Thursday, September 14, 2017

On This Day: Lou Brouillard Remembered

By Peter Silkov

Lou Brouillard was a very strong and durable fighter, short and powerful, with a good punch. He won world titles at two weights, yet is often overlooked in comparison to other champions. Born Lucien Pierre Brouillard, on May 23, 1911, at Saint Eugene, Quebec, Canada. And began his professional career in 1928.

During his career, Brouillard faced top names such as, Eddie Desautels, Baby Joe Gans, Al Mello, Paul Pirrone, Young Jack Thompson, Bucky Lawless, Jackie Fields, George Manolian, Jimmy McLarnin, Sammy Slaughter, Mickey Walker, Ben Jeby, Adolf Heuser, Vince Dundee, Tony Shucco, Bob Olin, Al Gainer, Babe Marino, Young Corbett III, Al Mcoy, Marcel Thil, Gustave Roth, Fred Apostoli, Teddy Yaosz, Tiger Roy Williams, Dick Maloney, Tiger Jack Fox, Gus Lesnevich, Ray Miller, Anton Christoforidis, Georgie Abrams, and Lloyd Marshall.

Brouillard won the NBA world welterweight championship on October 23, 1931, when he out-pointed Young Jack Thompson over 15 rounds. He lost the title on January, 28, 1932, when he was out-pointed over 10 rounds by Jackie Fields.

After losing the World welterweight title, Brouillard moved up to the middleweight division, and on August 9, 1933, he won the NYSAC world middleweight championship by knocking out Ben Jeby in the 7th round. Brouillard held this title for two months, being beaten on points by Vince Dundee.

Brouillard would have two shots at regaining the World middleweight championship, both, against Marcel Thil, for the IBU world middleweight title. The pair first fought in a non-title fight on November 25, 1935, with Thil winning on points after 12 rounds. Two months later, the two met for Thil's IBU world title, and Thil was declared a winner on a foul in the 4th round.

They fought again on February 15, 1937, with the IBU world middleweight title on the line, and this time Thil was given the victory via a 6th round disqualification amid controversial scenes. Thil had seemingly been dropped by a blow to the jaw, yet Thil stayed on one knee clutching his stomach as he was counted out by the referee. After counting Thil out, the ref then consulted with the judges and stated that Thil had been fouled. Therefore, was the winner on a disqualification.

Brouillard continued to fight until 1940, still mixing it at the top level until the end, although he lost his last 4 fights. He retired after dropping a 10-round decision to Henry Chmielewski.

Lou Brouillard retired with a final record of (100-31-2, 57koes). He was only stopped once during his whole career.

Up until his retirement in 1970, he work in a steel shipyard, operating a crane and rigger. Brouillard, who suffered from Alzheimer's disease, died on September 14, 1984, at the age of 73.

Follow us on Twitter: @TheBoxingGlove and  

If you are an athlete and want us to follow you or tell your story, contact   or

If you are an author and you would like your book reviewed, contact Peter Silkov at or

Monday, September 11, 2017

The Boxing Glove Big Fight Preview: Gennady Golovkin vs Canelo Alvarez... A Date With Destiny

By Peter Silkov

Now that the pantomime is over between you know who, and what’s his name, the smoke has finally cleared a little bit to reveal the most eagerly anticipated middleweight fight since Hagler vs Hearns back in 1985. Gennady Golovkin (37-0, 33koes) and Saul Canelo Alvarez (49-1-1, 34koes) meet next week, September 16, at the T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada, in a clash that has been at least three years in the making.

The various controversies, whispers, and disagreements, which have blocked this fight from happening, up until now, including Canelo’s infamous ‘I am not a true middleweight yet!’ claim, are all well known enough not to have to go into again. Now that the match is finally here, what do we really have before us? Is it a real ‘superfight’ or something a little bit different, more along the lines of a good business deal?

One look at both men's records, and fighting styles, tells us that this should be a well matched encounter that could produce something special. Both men have primarily aggressive fighting styles, but are also sound technically.

The build up to this match has been respectful from both sides, which is refreshing, and has added to the almost old school feel of this showdown. This is the kind of showdown between top fighters that used to happen regularly in boxing, but now is generally put off, especially in the heavier divisions, save for the occasional ‘superfight.'

If there is a worry, a person with a jaded eye might point out that the pair have been almost too respectful in this build-up and that talk of an upcoming ‘trilogy’ between the pair has been rather odd and ill-timed.

It's hard to think of any of boxing's famous ‘trilogies’ that have been ‘pre-planned', and the very action of arranging a trilogy in advance may lead won to wonder just how much planning has gone into the actual fights themselves.

Yet, one hopes that this slightly cynical fear will not be supported by what is finally witnessed on September 16. Come fight night, we are hoping to see both men giving 100% for victory, and for one of them to be awarded with a fair victory free from controversy. This is what boxing desperately needs, from a fight that it has been crying out for over these past two years.

Trilogy or not, this is a career defining fight for both men. For Canelo, it is a chance for him to finally show that he is more than just a good fighter who has been built up into something more by the media and Golden Boy promotions. Gennady Golovin meanwhile, needs this victory in order to finally underline the claims of greatness that have been surrounding him.

Photo: Metro.Uk
At the age of 35 years old, GGG has dominated the 160-pound division against anyone willing to get into the ring with him for the past 7 years, and over the course of 17 title defences. Despite this impressive resume, Golovkin has yet to find that defining fight, that defining defence, in which he has been called to show himself at his very best under pressure. In much the same way as 80s middleweight king, Marvin Hagler, struggled to find a meaningful fight before his contests with Duran, Hearns, and Mugubi.

Against Canelo, Golovkin will, for the first time, be facing an opponent whom a large amount of people believe has a chance to beat him.

If GGG beats Canelo, then his detractors will find it difficult to seriously ask ‘who has Golovkin beaten?’ GGG has already beaten the best at 160 pounds, aside from the three men that have constantly avoided him; former WBC champion Miguel Cotto, WBO champ Billy Joe Saunders, and up until now, Saul Canelo Alvarez. Indeed, it is worth remembering that Canelo gave up the WBC championship, rather than accept a fight with Golovkin earlier this year.

Looking at both men’s careers, while it can be acknowledged that Canelo has beaten the higher profile fighters compared to Golovkin, it must also be said that Canelo has been moved along very cleverly, and faced far more ‘soft targets’ than is often admitted. Since losing widely to Floyd Mayweather Jr. 4 years ago, Canelo has faced the limited and shop worn James Kirkland, Alfredo Angulo, and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., the vastly out-weighed and over-matched, Amir Khan, and the largely unproven at world level Liam Smith. Canelo’s best victories in the past 4 years have come against the slippery Erislandy Lara, (a fight in which many observers felt that Canelo was lucky to escape with a victory) and against Miguel Cotto. Against Cotto, although Canelo took victory and won the WBC world middleweight title in the process, it was not a devastating performance by Canelo and again, there were those who believed that the veteran Cotto had done enough to claim victory.

Photo: RingTV
The common thead throughout Canelo’s career is that he has never impressed quite as much as has been expected of him. Even in his last fight last May, against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., in a fight so one-sided that it resembled a bad sparring session. Canelo, for all his perceived strength and power, was unable to floor Chavez Jr. even once, let alone stop him. Canelo looked devastating against Amir Khan, yet even against the over-matched Liam Smith, Canelo struggled at times to impress.

Canelo’s strength has always been his size advantage over his opponents on fight night. It is well known that he goes up to 180 pounds at least, by fight night. Technically he is a sound fighter with a good chin, but he is also one-paced, and lacks flexibility in the ring. Mayweather, Lara and even Khan, showed how Canelo can be out-boxed, and dominated by the jab. Is this a strategy, which Golovkin might try against Alvarez?

Golovkin is usually thought of as an all-action slugger with a knockout punch in either hand, yet he has shown in the past that he is also a very shrewd technical boxer when he wants. Against David Lemieux in 2015, instead of going toe-to-toe with the big-punching Canadian, GGG chose to clinically take him apart with a technical display that GGG has not shown since.

Against such a physically strong fighter as Alvarez, who looks to have a sound chin, Golovkin may well need to call upon his finer boxing skills, just as he did when he took on Lemieux.

The worry for GGG’s supporters might be that at 35, the Kazakhstan fighting machine is beginning to feel the wear and tear of 18 world title fights, and father time. Certainly GGG’s last outing, six months ago against Daniel Jacobs, which saw the champion taken the full 12 rounds for the first time in his career, was his most unimpressive performance since he first won his world titles. There were those who felt that he was lucky to leave the ring still with his titles.

Photo: Boxing News
Golovkin has since said himself that it is the Jacobs fight that helped finally make his match with Canelo. Was it just an off night for GGG or was it a clear indication of a decay in his pugilistic skills. It should also be remembered that in his previous fight against England’s Kell Brook, Golovkin looked slow and sloppy at times with an almost non-existent defence, before finally stopping Brook in the 5th round.

Are these performances indications of decline, or simply a symptom of GGG’s growing boredom at being unable to gain the big fights that he has wanted for so long.

In fact, it might also be argued that perhaps GGG has purposely ‘held back’ in recent defences, in an effort to make himself look more match friendly to Canelo Alvarez.

It is clear that GGG has not been the precise fighting machine he was against Lemieux, for at least his last two fights.

Here lies the crucial part of this upcoming contest. If Golovkin can find the form that he showed 2 or 3 years ago, then he should have a clear technical edge  over Canelo. At his best, Golovkin is a much more versatile boxer than Canelo.

Canelo’s main attributes are his physical strength, and his comparative youth compared to GGG. At 27, Canelo Alvarez is at his physical peak while Golovkin at 35, as discussed earlier, is most likely past his peak.

This all goes together to make their fight that much closer. While Golovkin might have been a clear favourite 2 years ago, now he is not.

This match up could play out in two distinct ways. On the one hand, we could see both going toe-to-toe in an all out brawl, to test each other's durability and resolve, alternatively, we could see a much more technical fight, even perhaps a bit of a chess match between the two men. GGG will look to use his jab and wear down Canelo over the distance. If Alvarez has shown a weakness, other than his one-dimensional fighting style, it is his tendency to tire in the later rounds of fights. However in order to tire Canelo, GGG will have to work at a high pace himself, higher than he did against Jacobs in his last fight.

Can Golovkin operate at a high pace himself over 12 rounds, a distance, which Canelo is used to travelling in comparison.

Barring any scoring controversies, this fight is likely to be won by the fighter who can set the higher pace. Yet, Golovkin's best chance of victory may well come inside the distance. If the fight goes the full 12 rounds, (and is a competitive affair, as it is most likely to be) then it is hard not to envisage the Las Vegas Judges favouring Golden Boy’s favourite son. We have seen Canelo gain decisions over Lara and Trout, which were questionable and who can forget the judge who made his fight with Mayweather Jr. a draw!

Despite his popularity with the fans, Golovkin will most definitely be the ‘outsider’ in this fight, and one needs only to look at the recent two Andre Ward vs Sergey Kovalev contests to see what can happen when you are fighting a favoured fighter in Las Vegas. Golovkin will have to go into this fight with the mindset that he will need either a stoppage or a completely dominant performance over the distance in order to claim victory.

The feeling at The Boxing Glove is that Golovkin either wins this match inside the distance after wearing Alvarez down, or else he is looking at losing perhaps controversially on points. One doesn’t like to be a cynic, but after watching recent big fights, especially in Vegas, it is hard not to be. Vegas has a habit of siding with the house fighter.

Let’s hope that I am wrong and that we see a great fight, followed by a just result free from controversy. That would really make Saturday's fight something special.

Follow us on Twitter: @TheBoxingGlove and  

If you are an athlete and want us to follow you or tell your story, contact   or

If you are an author and you would like your book reviewed, contact Peter Silkov at or

Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Boxing Glove Big Fight Review: Srisaket Sor Rungvisai Defeats Roman Gonzalez: A Bitter-Sweet Night At The Stub Hub

Photo: Yahoo Sports
By Peter Silkov

Sometimes boxing promises big things, but fails to deliver. Last night’s 115 pound triple header at the Stub Hub Centre, California, promised much with its three main contests featuring five of the best 115-pounders in the world getting it on. In the end, it did not disappoint. Fighting in front of a raucous and excited crowd, the bill was a testament to how boxing's lighter warriors often provide the sports heaviest action. Yet it was a bitter sweet affair, as the shocking defeat of former pound-for-pound number one, Roman Gonzalez, indicated that the man who has done so much to generate interest in the sport's lightest divisions over the past 10 years, may not be able to reap the benefits of the public's new found awareness.

Last night was supposed to be the scene of Roman’s revenge over Rungvisai, after a bloody and controversial defeat six months ago, which had cost him his WBC world super-flyweight title. It had also shorn Roman of his unbeaten record, which included 80 amateur fights unbeaten, and his status as the pound-for-pound number one in the world. In an era where world titles are seemingly won at a drop of a hat, and weight divisions jumped after a few extra milkshakes, Roman Gonzalez was a throwback to the times when a champion stayed at his division and asserted his dominance before moving up. Don’t confuse Roman Gonzalez’s multiple world titles with Adrien Broner's tiny haul. There was nothing contrived about Gonzalez’s world title victories at four weights over the course of nine years. This was not a big man boiling down to a weight that he should never be fighting at either. Gonzalez has always been a genuine small fighter. This is not a featherweight posing as a flyweight.

First meeting with Rungvisai
Unfortunately, last night the indications were that ,Gonzalez’s pugilistic honesty had come face-to-face with the harsh reality of boxing, and left him flat on his back, a beaten man. As had been feared since he first moved up and out-pointed Carlos Cuadras last September, to capture the WBC world super-flyweight title, and become one of the few fighters to win world titles at 4 different weights, it was a weight too far for ‘Chocolatito.’ Despite the victory over Cuadras, ‘Chocolatito’ had been given one of the hardest fights of his career, and shipped an unusual amount of punishment, which left him battered and bloody at the end, while Cuadras was relatively unmarked. The clues then were that giving away such a significant amount of natural weight, to the likes of Caudras, was going to be a major difficulty for Gonzalez.

Any thoughts that Gonzalez (46-2, 38koes) would find things easier as he settled into the higher weight were dispelled six months ago when he was dethroned by Rungvisai (44-4-1, 40koes). Although the decision itself seemed to be unjust, and the new champion had been guilty of some flagrant use of the head, the fact remained that once again ‘Chocolatito’ did not look himself. He once more lacked his usual speed and sharpness, and took far more punishment than was usually the case for him.

Last night was supposed to be the night that ‘Chocolatito’ returned to his best, and prove that he was still boxing’s pound-for-pound, number one.

Alas boxing is indeed a cruel endeavour, and perversely it often seems to be its cruellest to those who have graced it the best. The rematch between Gonzalez and Rungvisai was not so much a rematch, as it was a demolition. ‘Chocolatito’ never seemed to be himself, from the pre-fight screening of his being gloved up in his dressing room, to the fight itself, this fighter, who usually entered the ring with the relaxed air that only the greats can carry, seemed tense and troubled.

As he was (before their first fight six months ago), Gonzalez looked highly emotional during the ring introductions, and it was disturbing to see him in such a state just as he was about to go into action. It is well known that Gonzalez has been deeply affected by the sudden death of his trainer, Arnulfo Obando, last November. One can only wonder how much that loss has contributed to ‘Chocolatito’s’ sudden decline.

Photo: AP
When the action began, it was clear from the beginning that this was not the ‘Chocolatito’ whom we have come to admire so much for the best part of the last decade. He seemed hesitant, uncomfortable, and agonisingly slow of both hand and foot, while the defending champion quickly took the initiative, and with it, the first round. There was again a clash of heads between the two, as in the first fight, and although no damage was done, it only added to Gonzalez’s visible discomfort. Things were much the same in the second round, as Gonzalez barrelled forwards, and attempted to take the play away from Rungvisai, but it was the defending champion who was connecting with the more punches as Gonzalez looked to be having trouble getting his punches off, and when he did land his blows lacked their usual spark of power.

The third was a better round for Gonzalez as he showed some brief glimpses of his former form, turning up the pace, and going toe-to- toe with Rungvisai. Yet ‘Chocolatito’ seemed to be forcing himself into the fire, and while his punches seemed to just be bouncing off Rungvisai, and the champion's own blows looked much heavier. The punches seemed to be having a much more telling affect, as they visibly moved Gonzalez when they landed.

It was revealed in the 4th round how effective Rungvisai’s punches were, and it was revealed in the 4th round, when after the two continued as they had left off in the 3rd, a right hook to the chin dropped ‘Chocolatito’ heavily. Although he bravely beat the count, the writing was on the wall. Rungvisai showed no mercy as he landed another vicious hook, to drop ‘Chocolatito’ once more, this time flat on his back, where he made no attempt to beat the count.

The sudden destruction of Gonzalez was met with a shocked silence from the pro-Gonzalez crowd. It was painful to see Gonzalez beaten in such a manner. He went out on his shield, just as all great champions tend to do, yet, it is always disturbing to see a great fighter suddenly become mortal, seemingly overnight.

Photo: Orange County Register
While Rungvisai seems on the verge of some exciting and hopefully lucrative showdowns, the plain truth is that they will not carry the same attraction now that they would have had Gonzalez regained his throne. Gonzalez now needs to take a long look at where he goes from here, and whether or not he should carry on fighting. The indications are that the rise in weight, coupled by the loss of his trainer and mentor, plus the rigours of a decade at the top, have all taken a toll upon ‘Chocolatito.’ How much of this decline is reversible only time will tell. At the age of 30, Gonzalez may be able to recoup after a long rest and regain some of his old brilliance, and a move back down to his more natural weight of flyweight could help him achieve this.

However after he has done so much already during his career, does Gonzalez still have the fire and right mental attitude to retrace his steps at 112 pounds, and rebuild his career almost from scratch. More importantly, does his body still have the reserves to allow him to achieve such a return. If he never fights again, Gonzalez can be proud of his achievements inside of the ring. His mixture of technical brilliance and his all-action fighting style brought attention to weight divisions that are usually disregarded by the general boxing public. Perhaps, just as importantly as his achievements inside the ring, Gonzalez has always carried himself with grace and honour outside the ring. Much the same way as his mentor, and idol, Alexis Arguello did during his illustrious boxing career. ‘Chocolatito’ will not be defined by his two defeats to Rungvisai, but rather everything that went before, when he proved himself over the course of a decade to be one of boxing’s all time greats.

The undercard of Rungvisai vs Gonzalez 2, featured two outstanding performances by Juan Francisco Estrada and Naoya ‘The Monster’ Inoue, who both won their respective contests, and announced themselves to the wider boxing public at the same time.

Juan Francisco Estrada (36-2, 25koes) has been one of boxing's best kept secrets since 2012, when he went the distance with a then peak, Roman Gonzalez, for Gonzalez’s World light-flyweight title, losing a close decision after giving ‘Chocolatito’ the toughest fight of his career up to that point. Estrada then moved up to flyweight, and reigned impressively as WBA and WBO world flyweight champion, for over two years almost unnoticed. Now however, after this triple 115-pounder bill, Estrada’s time might be coming, and at the age of 27, he looks to be at his peak and ready to take full advantage of this new exposure.

Estrada out-pointed another ex-foe of Gonzalez, Carlos Caudras (36-2-1, 27koes) in what was undoubtedly the fight of the night. Both men were so well matched that the action ebbed and flowed throughout the 12 rounds. Yet, the ultimate difference was that Estrada was the more accurate and solid puncher, even if at times he seemed to be outworked by the faster hands of the shifty Cuadras.

Photo: Mickey Bonilla
If there was any doubt about the winner, Estrada underlined his general edge over Cuadras with a knockdown in the 10th round. It was to prove the decisive moment of the contest, as Estrada emerged the points winner by scores of 113-114, three times. Estrada was only awarded the fight after Cuadras was originally announced as the winner, amid some rather chaotic, and surreal scenes. Cuadras, to his credit, took the loss of what at first seemed to be a victory with good grace and this match was close enough to merit a rematch between the two in the future. Cuadras showed that he still has much to offer the 115 division himself.

Estrada is now the mandatory challenger for Rungvisai, and would enter that contest with a clear edge. Although he has moved up in weight himself, Estrada has the frame to carry the extra weight and unlike Gonzalez, he seems to have taken his punch up with him. His mixture of power and technical boxing ability should prove to be too much for the powerful, but less skilled, Rungvisai, when they meet, but it should be another exciting, all action contest and Rungvisai is unlikely to give up his title easily.

While Estrada was cementing a shot at the WBC title Naoya Inoue (14-0, 12koes) impressed with his first appearance in America, as he gave a ‘Monstrous’ display in retaining his WBO world super-flyweight title, with a 6th round stoppage of Antonio Nieves (17-2-2, 9koes).

At only 24 years of age, and despite having just 14 professional contests, Inoue has already nine world title fights to his credit, and is a two weight world champion. Against Nieves, Inoue lived up to his nickname of ‘Monster’ as he dominated the brave yet outgunned challenger, with an impressive display of both power and technique. Inoue is very heavy handed, and strong at the weight, but he is also very technically adept as well. Nieves tried to fight back in the early rounds, but by the 4th he was just trying to survive. When his corner pulled him out after the 6th round it was a wise decision.

Inoue is already a big star in Japan, and the signs are that he could become much bigger yet worldwide. With future showdowns with Rungvisai, Estrada or perhaps Cuadras, a possibility for the future, the profile of one of boxing’s lightest divisions could yet continue to rise in popularity.

All in all, it was a great night for the boxing connoisseur, despite the sadness of Gonzalez’s defeat, and showed that for all its flaws, the sport still has some rich veins of gold to mine, if one knows where to look.

Follow us on Twitter: @TheBoxingGlove and  

If you are an athlete and want us to follow you or tell your story, contact   or

If you are an author and you would like your book reviewed, contact Peter Silkov at or