In many of boxing’s most knowledgable publications, Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez was one of the main stays since the retirement of Floyd Mayweather, so it came as quite the surprise to many to see him topple from his throne, first he teetered on the edge in March with some suggesting he had won the first encounter between himself and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, but now the argument was void as he was ripped from the mythical position by the same man who this time knocked him out in the fourth round, bringing to the forefront the question of where does he go from here?
Retirement is a prevalent possibility with the feeling that he as nothing left to prove. If he was to in fact hang up the gloves he would do so in the knowledge that he would be a sure thing for his first ballot of the boxing hall of fame. A four weight world champion who mesmerised in once more putting the small country of Nicaragua on the boxing map, maybe more so than one of it’s most beloved sons Alexis Arguello who Gonzalez himself holds in high esteem.
It would be with great sadness to see him leave boxing with the devastating loss that we witnessed on Saturday but if indeed all the wars / Father Time had caught up with him then it may be the best thing to do for his health.
I see a lot of similarities between him and Arguello, he, like Gonzalez also found his nemesis in Aaron Pryor, never the same after the first contest, Gonzalez follows a similar path knowing as we do that he is the wrong side of 30 whilst also adding to the debate that he sports nearly 50 fights on his illustrious resume.
A stay at Super Flyweight would be the less attractive alternative for most Gonzalez fans, sure there are winnable fights still at the division, already having held victories over Juan Francisco Estrada and Carlos Cuadras but the fact remains he is too small for the division, his skill set could only take him so far before he is once again found wanting against the divisions bigger fighters such as Rungvisai and Inoue, It could become a very dangerous proposition should he decide to stick around which I personally hope he doesnt favour.
Seeing Inoue coming through the ranks the way in which he did, I become chief campaigner for a fight between the two, I now know the error of my ways in a fight that at this point would be suicide as too would be a third fight with Rungvisai.
The third choice, A move south to the Flyweight division, his old hunting ground where new challenges exist. If he wants to end his career emphatically which would be fitting of the modern day legend he is, names such as Donnie Nietes, Kazuto Ioka, Daigo Higa all present enough intrigue to interest the man known as ‘Chocolatito’ but would he want to cover old ground?
These are just a few of the options available to him but what is much more important is the health of this great fighter who for years have had us on the edge of our seats. So with that being said we await with baited breath for the decision in the hope he will first take a much needed break to collect his thoughts and if he indeed does say adiós then I will be the first to thank him for the memorable nights he graced us with.