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A force to be reckoned with: "Chocolatito" Gonzalez


By John J. Raspanti

When he stepped through the ropes last Saturday night at The Forum in Inglewood, CA., Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez was still something of a mystery. Though undefeated in 42 fights, with 36 knockouts, the native of Managua, Nicaragua’s career was more “Invisible Man" than the "Incredible Hulk".


His fight against former light flyweight champion Edgar Sosa would be only his fourth in the United States. It was being televised on HBO Championship Boxing--as the lead in for middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin’s match against Willie Monroe.

It was in a sense, his coming out party.

Gonzalez’s performance ended up being so good that he stole the show. His fluid attack and combination punching sent many boxing historians to the record books for comparisons.

Gonzalez grew up idolizing fellow Nicaraguan Alexis Arguello. Before his untimely death, Arguello mentored him.

“For him to be fighting in the same arena where Alexis Arguello won his first championship against Ruben Olivares is very meaningful for us to be fighting at The Forum,” Gonzalez’s manager Carlos Blandon told a few days before Gonzalez’s fight. “It was the first champion that Nicaragua had.”

John Liechty, a former AAU amateur boxing champion, and timekeeper in the Los Angeles area for 28 years, has worked three of Gonzalez’s fights.

"I’m very impressed by him," Liechty said via Facebook. "I’d rather watch him then Golovkin."

Pretty heady stuff. So what had Gonzalez done to impress so many people and send this writer to his computer in an attempt to write something meaningful?

He destroyed Sosa in a systematic and controlled way. Don’t get me wrong, Gonzalez entered the bout a solid favorite. But Sosa, being a former champion, was expected to put up a fight. He tried, but Gonzalez pursued him like a hungry animal, raining down punch after punch like a machine with gloves.

In round two, Gonzalez brought even more heat. Sosa couldn’t breathe. Gonzalez stayed close. Heck, he probably knew what kind of cologne Sosa was wearing. A heavy left hand put Sosa down. A few seconds later he repeated the feat with a combination. A resigned Sosa got up and walked towards Gonzalez like a convict on death row. The ultra-cool Gonzalez was the grim reaper. Within seconds, Sosa was on the floor again. The referee wasted no time in waving the slaughter off.

The destruction had taken a little over four minutes.

“I thank the public that came to support me," said Gonzalez in the ring after the fight. "I dedicate this fight to the public. I’m very happy with my performance. He was a tough fighter, but my power was too much."

Gonzalez’s size (5-foot-3, 112 pounds) likely played a part in the reluctance of some channels to showcase him. I guess names like Lopez, Wilde, Villa and Perez have been forgotten. It’s also been reported that Gonzalez is very loyal to his Japanese promoter.

Wow, loyalty in boxing.

So who did Gonzalez resemble in his annihilation of Sosa? The great Arguello.

He chopped the former champion down without breaking a sweat.

One of Gonzalez’s goals was to win three world titles.

He’s already achieved that. And now that he’s been "discovered," boxing fans can look forward to more displays of pugilistic expertise.

John J. Raspanti responds to all his emails. Please send all questions and comments to John at:


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